12 Monthly or 6 Monthly?
Dec 20, 2013
Hi Dr Ben,
Quick question, I have an appointment next week at my regular clinic here in Northern Thailand. Labs as follows:
01/31/12 CD4 %: 39 % 01/31/12 CD4 Count: 723 cells/mm3 01/31/12 Viral Load (HIV): 22 copies/mL 12/11/12 CD4 Count: 854 cells/mm3 12/11/12 CD4 %: 41 % 12/11/12 Viral Load (HIV): <20 copies/ml undetectable 12/11/12 CD4 Count: 1038 cells/mm3 07/23/13 CD4 %: 30 % 07/23/13 Viral Load (HIV): <20 copies/ml undetectable
As I have been adherent to my meds, and have been undetectable for over a year or so now.
What is the considered correct timing for blood work? 12 monthly or 6 Monthly?
Is it safe to have blood work each 12 months if one has no issues?
Thanks again for all the effort hard work and knowledge you convey on this wonderful website.
Again Happy 2014!
Response from Dr. Young
Hello Andrew and thanks for posting.
Your question is a important one; yet one with limited scientific data. Current recommendations in the US guidelines note that in people like you- on stable treatment, and normal CD4 counts, that monitoring tests (CD4 and viral load) can be spaced out to every 6-12 months.
My personal recommendation is that you could have CD4 count testing done no more than once a year (if really ever at this point); I'd like to see VL and other monitoring tests (kidney and liver function) every 6 months. Perhaps this is overkill, but lab tests usually precede any clinical knowledge or awareness of problems.
Hope that's helpful and thanks for following the Forum and for your help with others' questions.
Be well. BY
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