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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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CD4 improvements
Mar 8, 2008

How long does it generally take for CD4 counts to sustainably rise after initiation of HAART? Is it likely that they will improve to baseline CD4 levels (i.e., the levels when I first tested positive five years ago?) Or do some people never achieve sustainable improvements in CD4 despite effective HIV treatment?

I started ATRIPLA last summer, and my virus is undetectable. My CD4 count initially increased 110 (to 330) but later dropped to 180.

Thank you very much for answering my question.

Response from Dr. Henry

Though most patients starting effect antiretroviral therapy experience CD4 count increases, not all patients do (perhaps 80%). The degree of CD4 recovery relates to a number of factors besides effective HIV suppression such as age (high age then lower CD4 recovery on the average), CD4 nadir (the lower the CD4 count goes the less likely to achieve a high level->> 500), level of T-cell activation (such as in the gut), size of residual thymus tissues, genetic factors and others. In some patients CD4 cell recovery is slow requiring patience. KH

Timeline of Fat redistribution
viral load undectable

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