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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Viral load vs CD4
Apr 28, 2004

Hello Doctor, I have been HIV+ for +- 7years now and my CD4 count was 28 in the beginning. Now 240. I was using Combivir & Crixivan for 18 months now and my CD4 does not want to go higher than 300. I'm on Combivir and Stocrin now and will see what will happen. My GP said he can't believe that my viral load came down from 240 000+ to 43 ?? I have a healty sex life do you think it's because of that? Before a healty sex life it stayed very high? Can it ever become 0 ??

Response from Dr. Conway

I am pleased at your virologic response. Your CD4 response is actually quite good, and gets you out of the risk area for opportunistic infections.

It should be noted that even if the viral load is undetectable, there is still virus around, so it will never be zero with the current treatments, so the risk of some level of sexual transmission will always be there. I think the fact that your viral load went down relates more to the fact that you have taken your medications with high adherence (congratulations!!!) than to your sexual activity.

Surgery for Facial Wasting
Your very creative use of resistance testing

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