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Newly diagnosed VL and CD4 counts
Sep 29, 2007

Hi! I have been diagnosed HIV+ at the end of July 2007. The test showed a VL of 37476, CD4 Count of 341 and CD% of 23.8%

All other blood tests showed no problems (all within normal healthy persons ranges) and liver/kidney fuction tests at normal. I am 40 yo and so far absolutely healthy with a history of very good family health and longlivety too. As everyone else in here, I would like to live until I am very, very old and with no other health problems, but HIV might have just damaged that chance. I would also like to do everything in my power to stay healthy without HAART for as long as possible. Others (including my HIV Doctor) say that the above results are not bad others (I can see in here) say that they are "worrying". Should i start worrying?

Also I am worried about KS. Am I right thinking that to get KS you need to be infected by the HHV8 virus and if yes, can this virus been lying dormant in our body for years? Can I get a test to see if I got it? If I am "clear" is there anyother way I could get it except unprotected sexual contact and if yes, how?

I think I have been infected Febuary 2007.

I do not drink or smoke or take any recreational drugs eat a very healthy mediteranian diet and take my supplements (including multivitamis including selenium and green tea extract containing at least 136mg of EGCG 3 times a day).

Response from Dr. Wohl

I would not "start worrying" . Worrying does not solve anything (if it did, we would be a fairly problem-free world). I would strongly consider starting HIV meds if the CD4 cell count is confirmed. A normal CD4 is around 1000. So, you are running about at a third of capacity.

The guidelines that many HIV docs follow recommend that HIV therapy be initiated when the CD4 falls below 350. I think even this is too low and when I ask these same docs if they would, themselves, wait until 350 to start HIV treatment were they HIV+, few would.

You are taking good care of yourself with diet and exercise among other things. Importantly, you are also seeking out info to guide your decisions. You will find that most people tolerate their HIV meds and that these drugs have revolutionized HIV care - leading to great improvements in survivial AND quality of life for many. No one wants to take them but their benefits are inrefutable. In addition, by not taking HIV meds you subject yourself to the effects on on going HIV. We are learning having HIV replicate is not good and itself may promote heart disease, neuropathy and other organ damage. We seldom think of the 'side effects' of HIV the virus.

You are correct regarding KS and you do need to try to protect yourself and others by having only safe sex. The best way to prevent KS if you have HHV8 may be to keep a high CD4 cell count - another reason to take a fresh look at HAART.

DW



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