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Newly diagnosed with HIV
Dec 9, 2008

I am male and straight. I was diagnosed with HIV just recently. My CD4 cells are 94, virus load is "very high" (over 3 million) but apparently they need to recheck this. I need to urgently contact previous partners, women, who may have been infected. Could you tell me based on the CD4 counts approximately how long ago I was infected myself? Thanks

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

It's very difficult to determine when someone acquired HIV on the basis of their labs- if your HIV test is fully positive (not indeterminate), then we can assume that you've been infected for more than a few months.

Past that determination, a very low CD4 count (like yours) suggests that you've probably been infected for a number of years.

FWIW, if your repeat labs confirm your CD4 count below 200 (or 350 for that matter), then it's time to start on HIV medications.

This can be a very difficult time for you-- please feel free to write me back anytime.

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