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Bad Labs or Bad Cocktail?
Mar 25, 2009

Recently went for my quarterly visit to find a VL increase from 0 to 1600 and a TCell drop from 770 to 469; percentage 37% to 13%. My doctor said it's probably a lab error but I'm not 100% sure of that. I never miss meds, am healthy, eat, sleep good etc.etc. He say do blod in a month but if there is something wrong, isn't this too long to wait? Really scared here.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

If your HIV specialist is convinced these changes are due to a laboratory error and not other causes that might affect these tests (intercurrent illness, vaccinations, etc.), I see no reason to wait a month to repeat the tests. Although I don't believe there would be any significant damage done by waiting a month, I just don't see any reason to wait if he's convinced it's a laboratory error. Also, it's worth noting that a CD4% of 13% would give you a diagnosis of AIDS (CD4 counts less than 200, CD4% less than 14% or presence of certain AIDS-indicator illnesses). Your HIV specialist will need to report your case to the local health department as an AIDS case (rather than just HIV positive). I would think your HIV specialist would want to clear up any laboratory error problems prior to doing this.

Dr. Bob



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