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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Radically decreasing CD4
Mar 3, 2006

It is been six years now since I was diagnosed with HIV. At that time my CD4 count was 380 with Viral load 12000, and started medication (Combivir and Sustiva) right away. The side effects were toleratable. Few months after my CD4 went up to 520 with undetectable viral load. Until last year my CD4 was fluctuating between 460 and 540 with undetectable viral load. Six months ago, my CD4 count went down to 390 with Viral load undetectable. My doctor advised me that it was normal. Two weeks ago, I did blood work and found out my CD4 count went down to 280 with Viral load undetectable. My doctor is telling me that it is normal, but I am really worried about what will happen if my CD4 is going this way. In your opinion what is causing my CD4 to go down rapidly? And please advise me if there is anything that could be done.

Response from Dr. Henry

Sometimes the AZT in the Combivir may be a drag on the CD4 count. If your % CD4 cells is also going down I would be somewhat more worried. I assume your nutrition is good and you have no evidence for other infections recently? KH

HIV medication
mucous and throat clearing

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