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what's next
Jan 29, 2009

I was just told I am Hiv positive and had hep c but now hep c is not detetable in 2nd test my cd4 is 366 my viral load is undetectable under 100 help me if you can my husband is negative so before him I was with no one for 4 years so can he be the one that infected me we have been together for 13 months I am freaking out as to how long I have had this with my numbers exactly what does it mean I hear at 350 cd4 is med time I am close to that so what is next if I had this for over 4-5 years already maybe longer how long before I get sick?

Response from Dr. McGowan

It is fortunate that you had been tested for HIV before you have developed any symptoms or your CD4 count dropped too low. As long as you stay hooked up with care you should be able to remain healthy and regain your immune function. It is also very good that your hepatitis C viral load is negative. It is not possible to tell exactly how long you may have been infected, but since your viral load is so low it may have been several years (so your previous partners may have been the source). It is good your husband is negative. He should be retested after 6 months to be sure. Your low viral load lessens the chance that you may transmit the virus (but doesn't eliminate it). Some subtypes of HIV are not well picked up by the viral load test. You should ask your doctor to check which method your lab uses, sometimes a "bDNA" test can measure a viral load when the standard PCR does not (this is less of a problem with the newer version viral load tests). Since your CD4 count is close to 350 it would be reasonable to start therapy soon. These numbers should be confirmed. Your chances for success and getting an undetectable viral load, and restoring the strength of your immune system are excellent if you are adherent with your treatment. Good luck, Joe


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