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Infected recently but CD4 is only 6 per cent

Jul 12, 2013

Hello Dr. Young. I was last tested negative on August 17th of 2012. I had flu-like symptoms on September 15-26. Then I started to have frequent BM for several months and in March of 2013, I started to have very bad rash and my scalp was very scaly. I tested positive on June 12, 2013. Blood work done on June 25, 2013 showed a CD4 count of 52 at 6 per cent, and VLD of 550,000. I am 40 yo and have been very healthy and active. I am waiting for the genotyping results before my ID doctor prescribes meds. Given that my hiv seemed to progress so quickly, what advice can you give me so that I can stay healthy? Thank you.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

First, with quality HIV care and treatment, your life expectancy can be normal (or at least very near normal).

There's some homework to do to achieve this- the first is getting tested and into care, then staying in care and being adherent to a well chosen and well monitored treatment regimen.

I also think it's really critical to develop a productive, trusting and non-judgmental relationship with your care providers and dealing in as best a way as possible with stigma and disclosure.

With your very low CD4 cell count, you should definitely begin on treatment in the near future and your care provider should also put you on an antibiotic to prevent pneumonia.

Here at TheBody, we have an excellent Resource Center for the Newly Diagnosed. Take a look there, and if any additional questions arise, feel free to write me back.

Be well, BY

Having Chet pain
PEP 3:30 late

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