Jul 12, 2013
I was diagnosed with hiv last January. I started meds January 19th 2013. My cd4 count was 1 and viral load of 400,000. Im on atripla and bactrim plus other meds like clarithromycin and mycobution for mac treatment. I was just tested last month and my cd4 only went up to 9 and viral load dropped to 60. Im worried about not living a long life because of the cd4 levels. Ive changed alot in my life like eating different stopped drinking. Im just wondering about what could I do different to gain numbers with my cd4. I know its no way to no but the doctor said I've probably had hiv for about 6 years. Is that true?
Response from Dr. Young
Hello and thanks for posting.
I'd be cheering about your results. A viral load drop from 400,000 to 60 is terrific and indicates that the medications are working well. CD4 counts and immune injury can take a while to heal- just like a broken bone. The more serious the injury (like yours), the longer it might take to see the recovery.
Further, the fact that you have MAC means that you've been quite ill, perhaps with a low total WBC count and accordingly a low absolute CD4 count. I'd wonder if your CD4 percentage hasn't increased more than the absolute numbers indicate.
Lastly, your doctor is right. There's no way to accurately know how long you've had HIV. Probably for years, but it's really difficult (if not impossible) to be more precise.
Be well, BY
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