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2nd set of labs: viral load/ CD4 trend question.

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J220:
So here are my labs so far:

March 2006           CD4 374      VL 290   

July 2006              CD4 325      VL 267

As you see both numbers went down slightly. My doctor told the assistant (I got the results from her, so I wouldn't have to wait unitl the 17th) that even with the small decrease in CD4 everything looks good, no need to consider meds at this time.

My main confusion is that when I went for the first labs, I could have sworn he told me my viral load was 33,000. I told this to the assistant who triple-checked the results and said, no, it was 290 and 267 respectively, so I guess that is good news if accurate. Does this VL sound right, with an approximate infection date of November '05? That aside, should I be concerned with the cd4 drop? Thanks. J.

HIVworker:
You should not be concerned with that 'drop' in CD4 count. It's only a small decrease and as CD4 varies from day to day, there is no way to see a trend there. As I said before it is the trend, and not the result that day, which matters.

R

J220:
Cool, thanks.

Initially I was dissapointed, because when I had the first set of labs done I had lost some 20 pounds (lost all apetite after learning diagnosis), and I assumed that now that I am eating normally again the cd4 number would be higher...but I guess not. At least it's not a real drop, as you say. The next (third) lab will give us a better idea, trendwise.

I guess I should be happy about the viral load? Is it common to see this low a number 5 months after the infection? Just curious, as all this is academic, of course, but I am trying to address my emotional perspective of all this. J.

HIVworker:
Is it common? No. Is it unheard of? No. Just check with your infectious disease doctor that the test results are correct - given this 30,000 vs 200s disconnect. That's actually a well controlled viremia, but you should look at the CD4 levels too as you can have low virus load and still lose CD4 cells.

I think the good people on this forum, such as Moffie and Joe, will be able to give you better tips on looking after yourself as I can't offer anything but conjecture while they can provide hands on 'food for thought'.

R

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