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Weird VL's and CD4 - rapid progression?
Aug 19, 2005

I was recently diagnosed with HIV. I fell real ill last year, and was tested at the end of the bout with the malady, only to find that I was HIV negative. It probably was the point of seroconversion. However, after finding my new status, I had bloodwork done and found out that my CD4 count was hovering around 200 (180 to be exact). My VL was 22k. Can you please answer the following:

1. Is my disease progressing unusally fast?

2. Does it mean I have some sort of supervirus, that medicine might not be able to cure? or do you think I contracted a strain that is highly resistant to drugs- hence the rapid progression?

3. Is it possible that I might have had the virus longer than a year, despite the negative result last year?

4.Am I going to die soon?

I am really frightened by this new information, and I hope that you can help.

Worried Latino

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello and sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I think you were probably in midst of sero-converting when you had the illness and negative HIV test last year. It is unusual to have a CD4 count of 200 within a year of seroconverting, so this would be considered rapid progression. You won't know whether you have a drug-resistant virus until it is tested for this should be done as part of the initial evaluation. Even if you have drug-resistant virus (and statistically you probably don't), it will be controllable with currently available medications so you are not going to die soon. Let us know when you get repeat numbers and a resistance test. Best of luck to you.

friend dying?
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