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T-Cell fluctuation

Aug 20, 2011

Hi - I was diagnosed a year ago this month. This is my history of tests this year:

Diagnosed August 2010 August 2010 Tcells 439/ VL 1,392 October 2010 Tcells 516/ VL 5,357 December 2010 Tcells 633/ VL 5,372 April 2011 Tcells 492/ VL 96,000 June 9th , 2011 Started ATRIPLA June 23rd, 2011 Tcells 445/ VL 405 August 11, 2011 Tcells 448/ VL 57

My question is... Why since my VL has almost gotten to be undetectable, is my tcell number not going up as fast as I thought it would... Just seems to be staying in the same place... Ive only been on treatment for 8 weeks, and in the 1st 2 weeks my VL went from 96k to 400... now 6 wks later to 57... Can I expect my tcells to get above 500 again now that im almost undetectable... and overall, how do you think im doing with this thing?

Thank you for your time. You have no idea how much you and this website has helped me get through this first year of being diagnosed, getting tested and deciding with my doctor to start treatment. You have been VERY helpful.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your HIV plasma viral load is not yet "undetectable," but it's certainly headed in that direction. Immune reconstitution (increasing CD4 count and CD4%) often lags a bit behind the viral load response. We really don't know what happened to your CD4 count or viral load from April 2011 until you began Atripla and retested on June 9th. It's possible your viral load continued to spike upward and CD4 count dropped. Since beginning Atripla your viral load has plummeted and your absolute CD4 count has stabilized. There is an excellent chance your counts will rise over time, if your viral load remains low/undetectable. However, there are no guarantees when it comes to HIV disease.

I'm glad you found the information here enlightening, reassuring and helpful.

Good luck. I'm here if you need me, okay?

Dr. Bob

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