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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Lab results frequency
Jan 19, 2005

I found out I was HIV+ 7/2004 when I had to go to the ER with PCP. My vl was 580,000 and my CD4 was 57 @4%. Since then my vl is <50 and my CD4 is 97 @ 6%. My question is, my doctor has me do lab work every 3 months now, could something happen without me knowing it to drop my CD4 level or raise my vl, Should I be concerned that 3 or 4 months is too long to go without lab results. Thanks, Elvis

Response from Dr. Henry

Checking your surrogate marker levels (CD4 and HIV level) every 3-4 months after achieving high level suppression on treatment is very reasonable and would fit with quality community standards. It would be quite unusual if you continue taking your medications as prescribed for their to be an abrupt deterioration in your lab results. With that CD4 count you are still at some risk for AIDS-related complications so if new symptoms develop that should prompt evaluation. KH

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