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Low CD4 with KS for almost 1 year
Jul 16, 2013

Hi Benjamin,

We chatted 4 months back I am not sure u still remember me.

I am the guy with AIDS and a low CD4 suffering from KS. Now I am on my 13th chemo cycle for Caelyx and am really worried about my future as my CD4 is still not above 100 yet. My viral load is fortunately undetectable and I am on Truvada and Isentress - so far no side effects and have been taking the medicine well.

The following are my latest CD4 and CD4% results:

July 2012 - CD4 7, CD4% 1 Sept 2012 - CD4 17, CD4% 3 Oct 2012 - CD4 46, CD4% 3.9 Feb 2013 - CD4 58, CD4% 7.3 Apr 2013 - CD4 64, CD4% 10.6 July 2013 - CD4 83, CD4% 10.2

My blood count report has however improved considerably from negative WBC (white blood count) to slightly positive at 4.18 ml. My RBC (red blood count) and HGB (haemoglobin) have also gone to positive territory. Lympocytes is 25% and Neutrophiles (52%).

What worries me is my CD4 is still not 100 yet despite almost a year of ARV treatment and chemo. In addition, my CD4% has gone down slightly from 10.6 to 10.2, making me worried. Will I be ok?

And my KS still around though have regress I am just very worried about myself. Am I progressing well ? If you ask me about my weight, I have gained a lot of weight from 52.1 kg (on diagnosis on July 2012) to 65.2kg (currently). Thats like more than 20% increase in weight, and I feel good and healthy.

My doctor stops prescribing me with PCP prophylaxis medicine as he said its not necessary, in addition to the fact that I am allergic to most of the PCP medicine available. In the past, I used to take Clindamycin for oral infection but that has stopped too in May this year.

Wonder if my CD4 will increase to above 200 with such a slow increase I am really worried. Hope to hear from you Ben.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

Your disappointment in the slow CD4 count rise is understandable- but I wouldn't be too discouraged. Some people, especially those (like you) who present with very low CD4s and OIs can take a long time to heal the immune system injury. Your marked improvement in weight and good symptomatic health are the most important data points, in my opinion.

Your CD4 counts/percentages are about half the way to the important milestone of 200 (15%). So long as your viral load remains suppressed and your tolerating the medications, I'd keep on truckin'.

Be patient with your body, it'll continue to heal and your lab tests will follow. I've seen this many times in the past.

Be well, BY



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