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Pos_in_Thailand
Guardian

Reged: 02/01/11
Posts: 464
Loc: Thailand
A bit scared - please be kind
      #261327 - 02/21/12 12:31 PM

Hi... I haven't been online in a couple weeks because I've been busy, and now I've been hit with something that has me worried. I would like to hear any ideas or experiences others have had.

Starting a couple weeks ago, I haven't been feeling my normal self; I've been really tired and not having any energy. I figured it was maybe some little cold or bug my body was trying to shake. It seems like everyone has been having colds and flus right now.

The week before last, I went to the doc and she examined me and said everything seemed normal. She suggested we do my labs a little early to see if anything was going on. We got the labs back a couple days ago, and I'm worried.

As most of you know, I've been on the Atripla meds for a year. My VL has been nil and my CD4's were in the 900's. I have never missed a single dose. So, my CD4's were down to 670 and my VL was barely visible at 107. My doctor is not alarmed, but she is "not pleased", to quote her, and neither am I. The percentage had gone down barely from 40% to 36%. Again, I know this isn't a four-alarm fire, but I am concerned.

She said we need to retest in 30 days to see if there is a trend or if this is just a blip. I'm trying not to worry, but I am a bit. It makes no sense - I've never missed a dose and I was genotyped and sensitivity tested before starting meds and my virus came back completely clean. I am just praying that this is some strange mistake and that everything will be ok.

Has anyone else had an experience like this? I don't want to think about having to change meds after only one year. Any experiences would be very welcome. I'm trying not to worry.... :-(

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AIDS2HIV
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Post deleted by Becky new
      #261336 - 02/21/12 07:51 PM



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Pos_in_Thailand
Guardian

Reged: 02/01/11
Posts: 464
Loc: Thailand
Re: A bit scared - please be kind new
      #261341 - 02/21/12 10:06 PM

Hi AIDS2HIV!

Thank you very much for sending those articles! I am feeling much better now. I wish this situation was talked about more - I had no idea that blips were as common as described in the stuff you sent. It's really good to know. I will let everyone know what happens. Until then, I will just relax and try to rest up. I'm probably just battling a little cold and don't know it.

Thanks again!

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TheGoodLife
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Reged: 01/01/12
Posts: 25
Re: A bit scared - please be kind new
      #261407 - 02/24/12 08:26 PM

My CD4 went from 1050 to 850 in just three weeks. I asked three docs about it. They all said CD4 can fluxuate between those numbers based on time of day, exercise, what you eat and illness. So... keep that in mind, too.

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Pos_in_Thailand
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Re: A bit scared - please be kind new
      #261409 - 02/25/12 06:22 AM

Thanks, TGL,

The CD4's don't worry me as much as the VL being slightly detectable. I think it's possible that I have a slight cold or bug I'm fighting, and that's weighing on the blood work. Here is what Dr. Benjamin Young said to my inquiry:

"Thanks for posting.

You're understandably over thinking your labs. If your viral load has declined as nicely as it has (from 60,000 to undetectable to 107) this means that you don't have any issues with drug resistance. A very low viral load like the 107 is usually not significant, especially if you happened to have a minor health issue (such as a cold, sinus infection, herpes flair).

It's natural to be very guarded about your CD4s, but note that CD4 absolute counts can fluctuate from day to day- both of your values are within the normal range. Before concluding that you've had a precipitous drop, take a look at your CD4 percentages and see if there's the same large drop there. If not (as I would guess), then the changes in the absolute CD4 are likely not important.

To be fair, some people do fail treatment in the first year, but usually those who have real difficulties with adherence (not you) or in whom transmitted drug resistance was not appreciated (also apparently not you).

I agree with your doctor that a repeat viral load test is in order and 30 days is a reasonable time interval (so long as you don't then have one of the things that I mentioned). We would expect that your viral load would continue to rise, say to 1000, if your virus had developed drug resistance. God forbid, if it does, then drug resistance testing helps map out the next steps in HIV treatment. Know that even in this worst case scenario, our current meds still allow for a well tolerated and effective second-line regimen.

I hope that's helpful. Be well, BY"

Here is the link if you want to read the entire post:
http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/Meds/Q220119.html

I hope this helps others that get nervous over these things. I will let you know what happens.

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lincolnsense
Newbie

Reged: 06/10/11
Posts: 4
Loc: USA
Re: A bit scared - please be kind new
      #261552 - 03/02/12 09:01 AM

Thank you for these posts. They were very helpful to me, having experienced a "blip" once myself. Everything went back to normal on my next test.

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Pos_in_Thailand
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Reged: 02/01/11
Posts: 464
Loc: Thailand
Re: A bit scared - please be kind new
      #261715 - 03/09/12 03:51 AM

Yes, these blips can be very worrying, especially when it happens during the normal flu/cold season and it may or may not be caused by some other bug your body is fighting.

I go in for my retest next week, so I will know more with those results. I have been trying not to worry, but that's not always easy. It's the dry season here now, so everyone has been burning their farmland, brush, and rubbish, making the air completely toxic. That has been very wearing on me and everyone - everyone is sick and not feeling well because of it. This kind of pollution makes you feel so tired and dried up all the time.

I really hope everything is ok and that I don't have to change meds. I'll tell everyone what happens when I get my next check.

Thank you everyone for the support and the kind thoughts. It does help a lot!



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Pos_in_Thailand
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Loc: Thailand
Re: A bit scared - please be kind new
      #262212 - 04/03/12 08:53 AM

See my update post - it was a BLIP!!
Whew!

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