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Baffled about Seroconversion Timing
Oct 14, 2006

Dr. Young, Please help me understand seroconversion. I was diagnosed in 6/05 with CD4 of 248 and VL at 39,000. The funny thing is I never remember having any HIV symptoms until 2/04 when I had all the symptoms. Yet my HIV doctor said I was probably infected about 7 years before. (I thought it was just the flu in '04 and never got tested until '06 because I justified that I'd never done any high risk practices). At 50,I decided to get tested as part of a routine physical with my regular Doctor. Is it possible to be infected for 7 years and not have symptoms sooner? Thanks for all you do. Rick (P.S. CD4 425 and have stayed <50 since the first month of meds)

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post Rick.

First off, it's entirely possible to have had HIV for 7 years and not have any symptoms.

Second, while your doctor's assessment is generally correct, it's awfully difficult to get a timeline of HIV infection based just on a viral load and CD4 count. Indeed a recent large study of seroconverters suggests that a significant number of patients progress to CD4s less than 350 in less than 2 years from initial infection.

Best of luck, BY


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