Aug 30, 2006
I was just diagnosed in may 06- I decided to test after i had a recurrent yeast infection which cleared for a day or two and returned in a month duration followed by swollen lymph nodes in the groin(occurred in apr -06). At first I suspected a STD and was tested for everything except HIV( fear of results) Then after everything else was negative I went ahead for HIV test and that was it. I just received my first lab results 08/06 which indicates my t cells count is 758 and viral load undetectable without any treatment. Is it possible that I was recently infected when the lymph nodes were swollen( for about 10-15 days) or is it possible I had HIV longer. From what I read so far it seems higher viral loads are associated with new infections. fyi my last negative HIV was late 2004. Other than that I have not had any symptoms I can remember prior to the test or since the YI cleared in may. Also how long can one stay undetectable without meds?
Response from Dr. Frascino
Sorry to hear about your recent positive HIV tests. The first thing I would do is repeat your ELISA and, if positive, reconfirm that with a Western Blot test. The reason to do this is that you were HIV negative in 2004 and you now have a normal CD4 count and undetectable viral load without ever having had any treatment. Nondetectable viral loads would be unusual in recent HIV infection. I don't know what degree of HIV risk you've had between 2004 and your recent positive test, but reconfirming a positive screening test is always a good idea to rule out a false-positive test or technical/clerical errors.
From your normal CD4 count and nondetectable viral load, it is impossible to predict how long you may have been infected. Certainly no more than two years, if your previous HIV test was correct. In general, untreated, one can expect to lose 50-75 CD4 cells per year.
How long can an HIV-positive person remain undetectable without meds? No one can predict this. It's quite variable from person to person. I would recommend you have your CD4 count and viral load tests monitored every three to four months.
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