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Terrified about CD4 Counts

Dec 17, 2006


I was recently diagnosed with HIV last week and believe I may have gotten it about 3 months to a years and a half ago. I tested negative on January 2005 and am for sure I was abstinent up until june of 2005. I am 26 years old and have dry mouth with a little bit of thrush and i am going to get my first blood drawn for results next week.

I been reading other people's experiences where they have recently been infected/diagnosed and have CD4 counts as low as 300 or less in less than 2 years of infection. Is that common?

Response from Dr. Wohl

Part of the problem is that many people do not know for sure when they were infected. Therefore, it is hard to know how long it took for the CD4 to drop. The decline in CD4 happens at different rates in different people. A decline of 50 cells or so a year is not uncommon but for those with higher viral loads, it can much more rapid.

Even if your CD4 cell count is low, effective HIV therapy can usually get these back up.


Reyataz Stone
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