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HIV Drug ResistanceHIV Drug Resistance
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Just Started HAART
Sep 5, 2002

I've been on HAART for 3 months (Viracept, Epivir, and Retrovir) I just got my firs labs back and they say that my cd4 is at 250, lower than when I started. The resluts alaso say that I am slightly anemic. I haven't met with my Dr. yet. I am wondering, what could this result mean? I haven't missed a single dose. This regimine has been very easy for me, no side effects to speak of. Will I have to go to a more difficult treatment?

Response from Dr. Little

The cause of your anemia is almost certainly the retrovir - this is a very common side effect and may or may not require further attention (mild anemia is frequently well tolerated, while more significant anemias will usually prompt a change in treatment). Regarding your lower CD4 cell count, I would not be too concerned yet. Look at the CD4 percentage instead of the CD4 number, this is often a better predictor of whether things have really changed or not. Often the CD4 percentage is stable which the CD4 number may fluctuate to a greater degree (often in response to another non-HIV viral infection) and if the CD4 percentage is stable, I would not worry. Also, treatment related changes in the CD4 counts generally lag about 8 weeks behind more immediately visible changes in viral load. Your CD4 cell count may have been declining before your started your current regimen and continuted a bit before stabilizing. The net affect might be an apparent decline in your CD4 cell count despite the fact that all may be going quite well. I would advise you to get more information before getting too worried. It does not sound like things are necessarily that bad.

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