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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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CD4 count drop
Feb 2, 2011

I have been on Atripla since August 2009 and have blood work done every 3 months. My VL has been undetectable since November 2009. Below is my CD4 count and CD4% count since I've started Atripla:

8/26/2009 CD4 66 CD4/100 cells 3 VL 29956 9/14/2009 CD4 169 CD4/100 cells 8 VL 2249 10/7/2009 CD4 252 CD4/100 cells 9 VL 458 11/16/2009 CD4 298 CD4/100 cells 10 VL <75 2/8/2010 CD4 263 CD4/100 cells 12 VL <75 5/13/2010 CD4 329 CD4/100 cells 12 VL <48 7/19/2010 CD4 338 CD4/100 cells 13 VL <48 10/29/2010 CD4 467 CD4/100 cells 16 VL <48 1/31/2011 CD4 328 CD4/100 cells 15 VL <48

My question is should I be concerned that my CD4 count dropped from 467 to 328 in the latest blood test results? The 139 count drop really startled me. Should I be concerned or am I just being paranoid? Also, what do you think of the general trend of my lab results? Do you think it's going in a positive direction? I really respect your opinion and any advice would be very helpful. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Henry

Your CD4 count trend has been decent. It is expected for there to be some variation up and down due to the inherent varibility of that test (CD4 levels can fluctuate by 25-30% in the same day even for HIV negative persons due to hormone/sleep/stress/circadium rhythm issues. The % only fell from 16 to 15 despite the apparent larger magnitude of drop for absolute count--I am reassured by that and expect for the trend to remain stable or improve in the months/years ahead for majority of patients in your situation.

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Red blotchiness on my arms and legs

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