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Results and expectations
May 21, 2008

I was diagnosed in Feb 2008 with AIDS and PCP. After two months of taking Atripla my vl is 40 and CD4 count is at 177 (up from 41 when I started). The CD4%, however,is at 4%. Should I be alarmed at the low CD4%? My ID specialist didn't even mention the low CD4%. I don't get labs done again until early August. Would it be prudent to have them done before then? Also, what kind of results can I reasonably expect in August?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

I seems to me that you've had a very nice initial response to treatment; your low CD4 percentage isn't inconsistent with having been quite ill when medications were started. My guess is that your initial percentage was low, quite possibly lower than the current 4% value.

Getting a follow up in 3 months seems perfectly reasonable to me-- at that time, I'd expect your viral load to be undetectable and for your CD4 percentage to have increased further. Understand that your percentage value of 4 predicts a lower absolute count (actually closer to 75-100), so that if you see a slight decrease in the total CD4 count in August, don't be discouraged.

Best of health to you, BY

When to start ARV
Recently diagnosed as HIV+

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