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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Atripla and CD 4
Apr 1, 2011

Thank you for all of your help and education. I have been HIV + and under DR care for 13 years, last october my CD4 droped below 350 which made my DR start me on Atripla. After one month ( Nov, 2010) on atripla my VL became undedectable but CD4 went down to 307 from 349 but increase in % from 16.5% to 20%. my Jan, 2011 results were VL undetectable, modest increase of CD4 to 332 and increase to 21%. my question is: should I be concerened about the slow of CD4 and % increase ?

Response from Dr. Henry

Perhaps 25% of patients have a slow recovery of CD4 count that may be related to many factors including small/scarred thymus gland, scarrring of lymph nodes, genetic factors, age, CD4 nadir (generally the lower the initial CD4 count the less likely a high CD4 count and others). Full suppression of HIV replication, as reflected by achieving undetectable VL, is the direct result of use of effective antiretroviral therapy (your Atripla)--recovery of the CD4 count is then up to each individual's immune healing status (widely variable)-often CD4 count will climb slowly and I am reassured by your viral load response and improvement in CD4% so frustratingly urge patience over the next month/even years. KH

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