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Not quite Bionic

Nov 7, 2007

Hi Dr. Bob, My education continues as I have known of my HIV+ Status since May 2007. You have been very helpful in my learnings. THANK YOU...Question: Why is it not encouraged to find out what your CD Counts when people have NEG HIV Tests? I understand MY CD4 could have been anywhere from 400 - 1600 prior to my POZ status. After 5 months on Atripla my counts have gone from 220 to 450. I wish I knew if my previous CD4 was closer to the 400 or 1600 range...Isn't that a good benchmark to know your PRE-POZ level of CD4. It does't help me any at this point..I have moved forward...but if I was a 1000+ wouldn't that be a goal to regain? Is it possbible I was in the 500's Prior to POZ status and with ART I can move to 700+?? Thanks for any info in this weird CD benchmark question. ps...I guess i just want to be the Bionic Boy and be better...faster...stronger... :)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Bionic Boy,

CD4 subset analyses are expensive and counts are not static. They vary considerably within the normal range in response to all sorts of various stimuli. A "PRE-Poz" CD4 count would not provide any significant or useful information, nor would knowing it affect what happens after infection.

How much immune reconstitution you personally will obtain is dependent on many variables, such as viral strain, concurrent or intercurrent infections, development of drug resistance, medication adherence, etc. Your response over the past five months has been significant. If your Atripla has driven your HIV plasma viral load to undetectable levels, there is a good chance your CD4 count will rise even further.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

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