Viral load and CD4 question
Aug 17, 2007
quick one for you.I have a cd4 of 47 and a Viral load of 713,000.I have yet to see someone with such a high number could this be?Ive been living with the disease for about 7-8 years without treatment and knowledge.Iam started about a month ago on epzicom and sustiva..please help me understand what you think of these numbers and hat I should expect as recovery back up.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Your HIV plasma viral load is very high, but can actually go much higher still. Your CD4 count indicates advanced disease with profound immunodeficiency. This leaves you at significant risk for the development of multiple opportunistic infections, such as PCP (Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia), CMV (cytomegalovirus), MAC (mycobacterium avium complex), etc. You should be on prophylaxis to help prevent these ailments (Bactrim DS for PCP prophylaxis, etc.) Your HIV specialist hopefully explained all this to you.
What should you expect regarding recovery? Well, unfortunately none of us has an infallible crystal ball to predict the future, especially since AIDS often follows an unpredictable course. If your HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) is effective and you do not come down with any opportunistic infections or malignancies, hopefully your plasma HIV viral load will decline as your medications decrease HIV replication. This, in turn, should allow for some degree if immune reconstitution (i.e. increasing CD4 counts). As your CD4 count goes up, your risks for opportunistic infections will decrease. Your HIV specialist should be repeating your viral load and CD4 count very soon, now that you've been on treatment for four weeks to ascertain if the drugs are being effective. If not, a resistance test (genotype and phenotype) could help in selecting a more effective option for your next regimen. I'd suggest you peruse the archives and articles on this site. There is a wealth of information here. Begin with the topics that can be easily accessed under the "Quick Links" heading on The Body's homepage. Also, talk to your HIV specialist. He should be the primary source of information about your specific situation.
Good luck. I'm here if you need me, OK?
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