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cd4 count and viral load

Oct 30, 2004

I found out I was positive in July 2004. I got my cd4 count and viral loads taken, my first viral load was 121 000 and after 3 weeks it is now 75000, my cd4 count is only around 430. I am certain I only picked up the virus from my partner in the last few months - should I be concerned why my cd4 count is so low and my viral load is so high? Does this mean I will get ill soon?

Response from Dr. Horwath

If you were recently infected with HIV, then the high, but falling viral load is consistent with the time frame. Shortly after the initial infection, the viral load tends to peak (in several weeks to a few months). Then the immune system responds and the viral load tends to fall to a steady level for a long period of time (often called the "viral set point").

The CD4 count of 430 is fine. The risk for opportunistic infections or other complications starts to rise after the Cd4 count falls below the 250-350 range. Your current CD4 is not associated with an increased risk of illness.

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