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Whay has my CD4 remained low despite having a low viral load?

Aug 17, 2007

I became infected with HIV last year. At seroconversion my bloods were VL 2 million & CD4 203. I did not go on medication. Eventually, over the course of the year my cd4 has risen and has jumped up & down between 320 & 480, at the same time my viral load has continued to drop. My cd4 percentage has been around 20%.

At the last count my CD4 was 346 and my VL was 376.

What I don't understand is why my CD4 hasn't gone up despite my viral load being really low.

Could it be that I have a naturally low cd4 count? What are the implications of these blood numbers? Is it likely that medications will still work for me?

Hope you can help


Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

Having a low viral load doesn't mean that HIV won't cause disease-- it is a barometer of how fast CD4s may decline, but only a predictor.

Yes, it could very well be that you have a lower CD4 normally. You may take heart in knowing that the lower limit of a "normal" CD4 count is about 350--since you didn't know your CD4 before HIV, it's actually possible that yours is your "normal", or close to it.

Either way, some patients to have HIV disease progression and CD4 decline despite having very low (and even sometimes, undetectable) virus. But, it is entirely important for you to know that medications will definitely work well for you when it becomes time to start.

Hope this is helpful. BY

meds, effectiveness
CD4s and treatment

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