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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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low numbers so soon
Apr 2, 2003

I just got a pos result 3 weeks ago. I tested neg last year at this time. My cd4 was 344 and vl was about 350,000. My doctor said these number are not good--but he thinks that I may be in the acute stage. I hope he is right! He recommends retesting in 4-6 weeks. 1. What do you think --? 2. If I am not in acute phase, how could my cd4 get so low so quick. (3) What is a "normal" range for non-pos people.


Response from Dr. Henry

If you are recently infected then a high viral load and a low CD4 count is often observed. When the tests are repeated in 2-4 weeks they often will be improved if you are recovering from a recent infection. A normal CD4 count is usually >> 500 and most often 850-1000+. The long term benefit of immediate treatment is not proven but many experts consider treating with a least a short course (i.e. 6 months) or participating in a study looking at that. If you are not in the acute phase then you likely have either an ugly HIV strain or an immune system that is not good at handling your viral strain. KH

Exposure to sunlight
Oxygen ??

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