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Newly diagnosed with low CD4, had radiation therapy.
Aug 31, 2005

I TESTED NEGATIVE JUNE 2004 WHILE ENDURING CANCER RADIATION TREATMENTS. I NOW TESTED POSITIVE IN FEBRUARY 2005. MY LAST TEST IN MAY 2005, MY CD4 WAS 186 AND MY VIRAL LOAD WAS 50,000. THE DOCTOR SAYS, IT APPEARS THAT I HAVE BEEN INFECTED FOR A LOT LONGER PERIOD. COULD I HAVE BEEN INFECTED AND STILL TESTED NEGATIVE? IS IT POSSIBLE, THE RADIATION ACCELERATED THE INFECTION? I HAVE FINISHED THE RADIATION TREATMENTS A YEAR A GO. I WAS TOLD, EARLY ON INTO INFECTION, THESE NUMBERS FLUCTUATE AND THEN STABILIZE. THE DOCTOR SAYS I CAN WAIT FOR TREATMENT SINCE I AM EARLY INTO INFECTION. DO YOU BELIEVE I SHOULD START TREATMENT?

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello and thanks for posting. The HIV antibody tests are quite accurate so it is unlikely that the test from June 2004 was in error. So it is appears that you have a relatively rapid progression of disease if the CD4 count below 200 has been confirmed. It is possible that the cancer radiation treatments may have contributed to this process related to the effects of radiation on bone marrow function. Regardless, current treatment guidelines do recommend HAART if the CD4 count is under 200 cells. Hope this helps and best of luck.



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