Jun 17, 2011
I'm a 21 year old gay male and I was just diagnosed positive about 3 months ago. my cd4 count was 286 and my VL was some 400,000! i was prescribed atripla and have been on it for about 2 weeks now with minimal side effects so far. I was wondering if there is any correlation between my numbers and when I could have been infected? how long until my cd4 is up to a normal number, and what is a normal cd4 count? what my life expectancy would be?
Response from Dr. Henry
Not possible to tell with any precision how long a patient was infected based on CD4 count and HIV RNA level (though if initial HIV level was very high then fell that can be a strong clue to recent infection). More important is usually the HIV testing and exposure/risk history. Life expectancy for patients who do well on antiretroviral therapy in the absence of other serious health problems (ie smoking or hepatitis C) is very good (ie some studies have suggested a 40+ year life expectancy in someone your age with access to and compliance with good medical treatment). KH
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