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Responding to CD4 question on 4-17
Apr 27, 2011

Dr. Young, Yes I know first hand that you can respond to treatment with a zero CD4. I was hospitalized for a month in March/April of 2008 with PCP Pnuemonia, Disseminated Histoplasmosis and later a bone marrow biopsy (something NOT FUN) later came back with MAC. Long story short, I later learned at my ID clinic that I had had a CD4 of zero and a VRL of 650,241. Thanks to Atripla my VRL is undetectable and my last labs on 1-5-2011: CD4 222 CD4% 11 It continues to improve with each lab test albiet slowly. (I go in next week for a blood draw) I also take Dapsone, Itraconazole and Gabapentin. I was on Clarithamyacin and Ethambutol but that was stopped when my CD4 hit 100 and there has been no recurrance of MAC or any other opportunistic infection for that matter. Knock on wood! I am working full-time and doing just about everything I was doing prior to my hospitalization. Of course I am 100 per cent adherent to my meds and have never missed an appointment, etc etc. SO to your reader worried about the low CD4 I offer hope. And to your other readers thinking they can wait to be tested or treated....DON'T......although I am doing fine at the moment, you do not want to go through what I went through. I almost didn't make it out of the hospital and a 30-day hospital stay was no fun either or a vacation with the IV's, numerous blood draws, bone marrow extraction, cat scans, bronchoscopy, blood and platelet transfusions, and even a catheter. Don't delay and seek care from an HIV/AIDS specialist!!!! Speaking of that, I just wanted to thank all the Doctors on this site as I have learned soooooooo much and so appreciate the times too that my questions have been answered. Dr. Frascino has answered several in the past. THANKS!

Response from Dr. Young

Hi and thanks for your post and kind words.

Your story is a heartening one and should give hope to those who are diagnosed late, with very low CD4 counts and complications.

Be well and stay in touch, BY



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