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my first lab result

Apr 27, 2006

Dear Dr,

I just came back from my second visit to my Dr, where we discussed the results of my first lab test, My last test for HIv which was negative was on October 2005, & i was tested positive in Feb 2006. I think my infection happened either Nov or Dec 2006. I have now 88000 viral load, & 700 CD4 according to my Dr, the viral load is significant, but still below 100000. my CD4 is good. he asked to have another test end of May to see how this will go. also another test for the resistance type of my HIV. I live in Belgium. he said that ruels are changing with regard to early treatment, before they only reccomend it when CD4 falls below 200, but now they start around 300. what do you think of all this? Thanks in advance

Response from Dr. Wohl

Your CD4 cell count is very good, as would be expected early in HIV infection. The viral load can predict how fast your CD4 cells will drop: the higher the load the faster the drop in CD4s and visa vera.

Don't put too much stock in small differences in viral load numbers. The test has a variability of about 3 fold. This means the difference between 80,000 and 160,000 may not be as meaningful as 80,000 and 250,000. Generally, the viral load stays fairly stable during the course of HIV infection. However, after recent infection the viral load is high and can take several months to level off. You just might see a slow decline to a plateau in the next few months.

I agree with your doc. I would check a resistance test now as there is about a 10-15% risk you acquired a strain of HIV with some drug resistance and I would follow your numbers every 3-4 months.

When your CD4 drops to around 350 or so I would recommend therapy. If you had symptoms of HIV disease (unexplained diarrhea, weight loss, fevers, etc) I would start treatment sooner.


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