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Thunderwink
Newbie

Reged: 06/21/12
Posts: 2
Good early counts - trying to get context
      #263992 - 06/21/12 05:22 PM

So I was diagnosed with HIV 5/22/12. My previous negative test was 1/20/10.

When I got my first labs back, I got some really good news:
Viral load = 24
CD4+ = 840

My doctor said this could mean I'm a long-term non-progressor or elite controller, which is obviously good news. We have opted not to put me on any treatment for now, but I plan to monitor my HIV status VERY carefully, take great care of myself, and do what my doctor tells me to do.

But, what I'm trying to get my head wrapped around is just how excited and optimistic I should be about these results. Did I effectively win the lottery, or should I just be happy for now but very prepared for the other shoe to drop?

I just really don't know how I should feel about this, and what the prognosis is.

I realize this is a "high quality problem" many of you would love to have, but any help in understanding this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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Thunderwink
Newbie

Reged: 06/21/12
Posts: 2
Re: Good early counts - trying to get context new
      #264019 - 06/22/12 11:23 PM

I really am torn up about this, and would really appreciate people's perspectives - the good and the bad.

What does this mean?

I'm really struggling to appropriately calibrate my emotions.

And for what it's worth, if I turn out to have this special, lucky status, I fully intend to make myself and my body fully available to to assist in research hopefully toward a cure for all of us. I maybe luckly, but I don't question for an instant that I have HIV

Just please, help me put it in context. What does it mean? How should I feel?

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Pos_in_Thailand
Guardian

Reged: 02/01/11
Posts: 464
Loc: Thailand
Re: Good early counts - trying to get context new
      #264021 - 06/23/12 12:36 AM

Hi!

I'm sorry to hear that you have tested positive, but am really glad about the numbers you got back on your first labs. Those are very encouraging!

From what information you have given here, I think it's too early to tell what "class" you would fall into, as far as how the virus will interact with you as time goes by, without ARV/HAART intervention. If the last time you tested negative was two years ago, and you just tested and tested positive now, I think it's hard to know for sure when your infection took place and how long you have been positive. Even if you have been positive for a year or more, it's pretty normal for the virus to "rest" for a period of a few years before it really starts wrecking havoc. Unfortunately, only time will tell. If you decide not to go on ARV for now, and just monitor the situation, with every period of time that goes by and your numbers are good, that helps get a better picture as to what your progression may be. From what I have learned, it just sounds too early to tell now.

I think that the advantage that you have now is that you have time to come to terms with your status. You are healthy and feeling well, so that pressure is not weighing on you, allowing you to accept this situation and think about how you want to respond to it and educate yourself about what your options are. You can learn about the HAART regimens that are available and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of early treatment and have that in your mind as time goes by and your lab results start to give you a clearer picture about what you may or may not be able to expect later. Find out what resources you have available in your area, and connect with others in the community. This will all help you feel better about your situation and help you make decisions about how you will manage yourself.

I know how you feel getting this result back - it's a big shock and stirs a lot of emotions, and will for a while. Give yourself time to accept this and know that by educating yourself and working closely with your doctor, your chances of doing well are quite high. Being informed and proactive is the best medicine and puts you back in control.

I hope this makes sense. I'll keep my eyes open for your posts and updates. Contact me if you wish to talk!



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