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how long infected??

Feb 21, 2007

Are there any guidelines to say how long a person has been infected based on their cd4 and virial load? Can someone infected only 3 years ago have a very high viral load and cd4 below 200 and have Pnemonuia?? Is there a general giudeline on how long a person is infected before there cd4 drops to 200?


Response from Dr. Young

Thank you for your post.

In brief; it's very difficult to accurately estimate the duration of HIV infection based on CD4 or viral load. Persons with higher viral loads tend to progress more rapidly, but there a lot of individual variability to this.

Yes, one can progress to a CD4 count below 200 within 3 years of infection- recent analysis of a large group of recently infected individuals show that 50% may progress to CD4s less than 350 in less than 2 years.

If your count has gone to lower than 200, especially if you've had pneumonia, it's time to think about starting on HIV treatments. HIV treatments should quite rapidly improve your immune function and reduce your risk of having further life-threatening complications.

Hope this helps. BY

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