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New Diagnosis, very high viral load

Jul 22, 2011

I have been through many forums and have read for many hours since my diagnosis 10 days ago. I could not really find similar numbers, that i had at first diagnosis. CD4 914, CD4% 45 Viral load 170,000. I had pretty severe flu like symptoms for 2 weeks, but have now had mild flu symptoms for about an additional 5 weeks. Anyway, is it strange to have that viral load and still have from what i understand to be reasonable cd4 numbers? My doctor does not seem concerned by the viral load at all. Is this just because its early days. by the way I am 41 years old.

Response from Dr. Frascino


No, it's not unusual to have CD4 and CD4% in the normal range with moderately elevated HIV plasma viral load early in the course of infection. Counts can shift as the immune system kicks in and begins to battle HIV. Without treatment, ultimately HIV will progressively destroy CD4 cells.

One thing to talk to your doctor about is consideration of beginning antiretroviral therapy now to preserve immune function (CD4/CD4%) and decrease damaging immune activation/inflammation.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

med student in need of reassurance

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