fast progressor?

Question

I tested positive in October 05. November 05 tests showed CD4 of 475 and viral load of 794. I remained fit and well. Second test was done in Feb 06 which showed CD4 was 475 and viral load was 5300. I live in Europe and here they wont start medications unless the CD4 counts go down below 300-350, so I am not on medications. I have no idea since when I am positive, because I suspect I have picked up hiv from an oral sex or something. I am usually very careful.

My question is: does the above results (change from ~800counts to 5300counts of virus in 3 months span) suggest that I am a rapid progressor? Is there any criteria to determine if I am a rapid, slow progressor or long-term nonprogressor?

Further, how does normal diseases affect a person with hiv? I mean everyone gets flu,coughs,colds, or diarhea once or twice a year. If that happens to someone with hiv, does it mean that the chances of the virus getting an upper hand to replicate faster increases?

Many thanks in advance for your attention and this is a great site. Gives a lot of moral support. Cheers, KK.

Answer

I think you need a few more points on the line to determine what the trend in your numbers is. Although your CD4 count is stable, the viral load has gone up almost 10 times (although still in a very low range). You would not be considered for treatment in the US either, unless we saw the viral load increasing dramatically in a short time, or the CD4 count and CD4 percent going down. Other infections can activate HIV replication (like TB, herpes viruses, etc) and cause viral load to go up and possibly decrease CD4 cells in the short term. We don't know the long term effects of colds and flu on this observation or whether they hasten progression of HIV infection.