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Any way to boost CD4 without meds?
Aug 19, 2011

I am a seemingly healthy 25 year old male and was diagnosed HIV-1+ in early May 2011. I contracted the virus on April 15, 2011 and went through about 2 weeks of seroconversion starting April 27. I had my first blood work done near the end of May which told me that my CD4 was 309 and VL of over 9 million. My second blood draw was completed on August 2 and the results were a CD4 of 354 and VL of 219000. I know that it can take awhile for these numbers to level out, but I'm hoping to participate in a clinical trial that requires a VL (Note added in review: Is this your CD4 instead of VL?) of over 500 while being treatment naive or off treatment for 12 weeks. Do you think I'll get there or is my VL staying too high? Personally, I think it's good that it came down so much but what does it mean that it started soo high?? Is it more likely that 350-400 is as good as it's gonna get? Is there anything I can do to naturally boost my CD4 count? I also wanted to mention that I had a nasty abrasion on my ankle just prior to getting my 2nd set of blood work taken. It became very swollen and may have been slightly infected. I usually heal quickly and have never swollen like this before. Would this have any impact on the CD4? My next blood draw will be in a month or two. Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help my numbers without meds.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

First, let me say that we're all grateful for people like you who consider participation in clinical trials. Without these volunteers, the state of HIV science and treatment wouldn't nearly be as advanced as it is today.

If it's really been 4 months since you were infected, I'd think that your lab results likely reflect your baseline, rather than acute infection. As such, you'll likely see a CD4 around 350 as the value that you'll have to use to qualify for studies. Also, it's rather unlikely that the abrasion had a significant effect on your counts, though a repeat CD4 would help determine that (and see if there's any trend in your counts).

That said, I'm a little surprised to hear of a study that excludes people if their counts are below 350. Usually there is either no cutoff, or the cutoff value is closer to 100 or 50. Perhaps you were mistaken in the exclusion criteria.

I'd suggest asking about other clinical trials- for example, we'll have several clinical trials opening for enrollment in our clinic this Fall, none have a threshold enrollment value of 350.

Hope that helps. Be well, BY



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