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Slow CD4 increase
Apr 11, 2011

Hello, and thanks in advance. I was diagnosed with HIV 2 years ago with a CD4 count of 41 and my viral load reached 70 thousand. I was 26. My doctor started my treatment with bactrim but I ended up in the hospital and later it was determined that I was alergic to it so I was later switched to Dapsone which I wasn't alergic to. After that I started my treatment with Atripla and within 2 weeks my CD4 increased to 70. Within 6 months increased to 130 and has been increasing very slowly. Took me 2 years to reach 200. But lately I've noticed that is not increasing at all. It even decreased 2 within 3 months and then it increased again. The doctor I started with was great but I have moved since and I had to switch doctors. My new doctor says "slowly but good". My Viral load has remained undetectable. I also have an eating disorder. I am overweight. Male 6'1" 295 lbs. I really like the Atripla treatment because it is not causing any side effects other than dizziness. My question is, should I change treatment for a CD4 increase?

Response from Mr. Vergel

In many people, CD4 increases are fast during the first 6 months and then they slow down. In some studies, people are still slowly gaining CD4 cells counts after 5 years. But some people do not seem to go much higher than 200-300 CD4 cells.

It is impossible to predict who will be a great immunologic responder and who will not be.

Just keep taking your medications on time, get good rest, eat well, manage stress, and lead a normal life if you can. Most of us live very healthy with CD4 cells in the 200-500 range (mine have been under 400 for over 10 years)

Nelson



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