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Nov 11, 2007

I found out i was HIV when i ended up in the hospital w/PCP in 2005. Since then my viral load is undetectable but my TCells are still under 90.... is this AIDS and should i be worried that my Tcells are not getting any higher?

Response from Dr. Sherer

You had AIDS in 2005 when you were diagnosed with PCP, and that remains important, even if and when your CD4 cells get above 200 cells/ml in response to treatment.

It is good that your current regimen is able to control the virus and keep the viral load below detection.

In 5-15% of patients, the CD4 cell rise falls below the average of 100 cell increase per year, and people with very low CD4 cells and AIDS-related opportunistic infections like PCP are more at risk than those starting with higher CD4 cells.

You can ask your doctor about the CD4 cell percent, which can also give you an estimate of the meaning of a CD4 cell count of 90, and you can talk to your doctor about alternatives to address a persistently low CD4 cell count, though there are no clearly established strategies to elevate the CD4 cell count.

For example, some recent data suggests that boosted PIs, and specifically lopinavir (Kaletra) are associated with the most sustained elevations of the CD4 cell count.

was undetectable now off meds

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