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What does this pattern indicate ?

Sep 23, 2009

I was diagnosed HIV positive on June 17th of this year. Through screwups in the blood tests I have yet to have a series of results with the CD4 and Viral Loads taken at the same blood draw.

Today, 3 months after I was first diagnosed I finally got my 2nd Viral Load result but am confused / concerned about my results. I'm curious as to why my CD4 count is so long as is (relatively speaking) my Viral Load. Are these values indicative of something ?

Collection Date Result 09-Jun-19 CD4 100 (7%) 09-Jul-07 Viral Load 16,600 09-Aug-11 CD4 110 (6%) 09-Sep-02 Viral Load 39,600

Thank you

Response from Dr. Frascino


It's difficult for me to comment without knowing a bit more about your case. For instance were you started on antiretroviral drugs in July or August when your follow-up labs continued to show significant CD4 depletion? I'm guessing you were not and I'm quite shocked by the excessive delay in getting you started! Your tests to date show significant CD4 deficiency, qualifying you for a diagnosis of AIDS. Your viral load is only moderately elevated, but rising. These results would indicate you've been HIV positive for a considerable period of time, perhaps 7-10 years. You are also at considerable risk for some opportunistic infections, such as PCP (pneumocystis carinii pneumonia) and should have been started on primary prophylaxis with Bactrim double strength in June!

Are you under the care of an HIV specialist physician? If not, you need to establish care as soon as possible. Don't delay. At present you are at considerable risk for complications. If you are under an HIV specialist's care at the moment and haven't been advised to take PCP prophylaxis and begin combination antiretroviral theory, I'd suggest you fire your current doctor and find a more competent HIV physician specialist.

Dr. Bob

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