|33 Yr Old HIV+ Woman
Oct 23, 2005
I'm extremely confused about this issue. I was diagnosed in 2002, and had very good numbers, and have maintained very good numbers with no treatment until recently. Back in August of this year i had labs done, and still had good numbers cd4's in the high 600's low 700's with a Viral Load of less than 3K. Aproximately 3 weeks later with in a matter of a minute, i had difficulty breathing, felt like someone put a piece of plastic wrap over my nose & mouth. I was taken to the ER, where the did a chest X Ray, and a Ct Scan, and came back and told me i had PCP! I was then admitted in to the hospital, where they did all their tests, drew blood non stop ect ect.. My cd4's had dropped to 88, from high 600's in a very short period of time. I was in the hospital for a weeks time, and after getting out saw my ID specialist, he was confused, not understanding how or why my numbers plumeted the way they did, wrote me prescriptions for Combivir, Sustiva, and Bactrim,and sent me for more labs. I got my resluts back 2 weeks later, and my cd4's were higher than they had ever been, 1100, and a Viral Load of 2300. I had a very hard time with the Combivir, and quit taking it, and am now on Truvada & Sustiva, but how is it that my numbers went so wrong so quickly? I've only been infected going on 3 yrs, and was told i shouldn't have any complications for years to come, let alone be on a cocktail. I feel fine now, which is all that matters, I just don't understand what happened, or what went so wrong for me to be fine one minute, and not fine the next.
Response from Dr. Luzuriaga
While most individuals with good CD4+ T cell counts and low viral loads will remain well for long periods of time, a small number may experience rapid CD4+ depletion and/or disease progession; we don't fully understand why this may occur. For this reason, we recommend routine evaluation (every 3 months) of HIV positive individuals, so that any changes in status can be picked up early and indiviudals can recceive appropriate treatment.
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