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CD4 questions...
Mar 29, 2009

I recently tested positive in nov-08 on my birthday for a free test... turns out my boyfriend gave me hiv. He is the ONLY partner I had u.p.sex with...(unprotected) my cd4 is 970, viral load was 10,000... his cd4 was 500 and viral load much, much higher viral load than me... if his CD4 is 500, wouldnt that mean he was infected with hiv for a long time? This is a very unhonest man I was dealing with, and I'm thinking of getting a lawyer to supena his health records.. what do you think?? 32yr old man with a 500cd4 and higher than the sky vl.... do you think he had it for a long time and didnt tell me? knowingly inffected me?? i am so curious to know the answer... thanks- mel

Response from Dr. McGowan

Dear Mel,

I am sorry to hear about your situation, but glad that you were able to find out that you were infected when you still have such a high Cd4 count. Most people do not find out until later when they may already have symptoms. You can protect yourself, and should never have to get sick from HIV as long as you monitor your health carefully.

Your question is complex, and, may not have a satisfactory answer. There are a couple of important issues: 1) Progression rates with HIV are dependent on the height of the viral load...so if there are 2 people who both start out at 1000 CD4 cells and one has a VL of 1,000 and the other has a VL of 500,000..the one with the higher viral load will end up with a much lower CD4 count after 1 year than the other. This could distinguish you from your boyfriend. 2) About 1 out 5 people infected with HIV in the US do not know they have the virus. These people (about 21% of the infected) account for half of all the HIV transmission. People can be symptom free from HIV for many years and may transmit virus unknowingly. This is why the CDC is trying to have all adults in the US tested, regardless of their perceived "risk".

For your health, you should be under the care of an HIV expert to ensure you stay healthy.

Best, Joe



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