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Author Topic: Major CD4 Drop Question  (Read 4114 times)

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Offline CJWAUS

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Major CD4 Drop Question
« on: July 07, 2006, 12:16:44 AM »
I just got new lab results today, and my CD4 is down from close to 1700 to 600.  I forgot the percentages, but was quite alarmed by this major drop in just two months.  I have recently moved from Portland where I had a great doctor to Seattle where the best it seems I can get is a nurse practitioner, who seems to think I shouldn’t be at all worried about this big drop and doesn’t so much as want to talk about it, all she want to talk about is what kind of head meds she thinks I should be on because she doesn’t think I could have ever had a CD4 that high so I must be making it of there is a problem with the tests I had in Portland, this despite her having photo copies of all my test results from the very beginning. What’s the likelihood of two years worth of false test results? 

I am beside myself over this, I watched my CD4 slowly get that high over a couple years and now it’s sort of like they fell off a cliff.  I know 600 is still okay bit it isn’t nearly as okay as 1700.  I am also concerned that this will be a trend and I will be in trouble in a couple more months.

Anyone ever have this kind of thing happen before?  I am still undetectable. 

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Major CD4 Drop Question
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2006, 12:27:06 AM »

It would be helpful if you could tell us your CD4 %. CD4 absolute results tend to fluctuate quite a bit (though yours is a big one) and your still in the normal range. Especially for an HIV positive person. As you probably know the % gives a far more accurate picture of what's happening to your immune system over time and HIV numbers are all about trends.  If the nurse practitioner is not being helpful can you phone your doctor in Seattle?

Also we have a really good set of lessons here which explain all about CD4 test results. You'll find the lessons link in the upper left hand corner of the page.


/edited because you did report your VL result. sorry!/

Offline CJWAUS

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Re: Major CD4 Drop Question
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2006, 12:53:11 AM »
I don't have a doctor in Seattle just the N.P.  I will find out the % but I was just kinda in shock about it and forgot.

I do know that today was my last trip to Harborview, I need to find something better.  A few months ago i asked on here about good docs in Seattle but none of them would take me. 

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Major CD4 Drop Question
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2006, 12:58:34 AM »

Sorry! Misread that. You've moved FROM Portland TO Seattle! We Aussies can be a bit slow. ;) As you'd know a doctor is a priority. Can your NP give you the names of some who might take you on?


Offline CJWAUS

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Re: Major CD4 Drop Question
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2006, 01:25:39 AM »
Ive decided to just try and start over at a new clinic, maybe that will go better.

Offline CJWAUS

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Re: Major CD4 Drop Question
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2006, 01:39:28 AM »
"Aussies can be a bit slow"

But they are so very cute :P
« Last Edit: July 07, 2006, 01:41:00 AM by CJWAUS »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Major CD4 Drop Question
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2006, 02:02:20 AM »
Ive decided to just try and start over at a new clinic, maybe that will go better.

That sounds like an excellent idea.

But they are so very cute

Awwww!  ;D --blushes on behalf of his cute countrymen-- ;)


Offline Ann

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Re: Major CD4 Drop Question
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2006, 04:20:43 AM »

Moving house is right near the top of the top ten "major life stressors" (or whatever they call that list) and there's a very good chance your CD4 count is reflecting that. Even if a house move goes smoothly, it is still a very stressful time.

Take care of yourself, try to relax and chances are good your CD4s will go back into the range you're used to. Don't be too hard on yourself and try not to worry so much. Your numbers are still excellent.

Oh, and welcome to the forum! ;)

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Offline aztecan

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Re: Major CD4 Drop Question
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2006, 10:25:07 AM »
Hey CJ,
As our Matty said, CD4s can fluctuate like Bush's approval ratings. I have had mine drop as much as 600 at times.

The percentage is a much better barometer of how things are going.

That said, your decision to look for a better clinic/doctor seems wise to me. You need a good doctor, preferably an internist who specializes in HIV care. NPs are fine for some things, but not for continuing care.

Good luck and let us know how you are doing.


"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline ademas

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Re: Major CD4 Drop Question
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2006, 10:28:21 AM »
Hi CJ,
I was raised in Portland and now live south of Seattle (Des Moines).
Have you tried ACAP through Lifelong AIDS Alliance?
If insurance is an issue, have you tried The Country Doctor?

Offline CalvinC

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Re: Major CD4 Drop Question
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2006, 10:54:54 AM »

My .02: wait a month, get another lab done, assess it all then. Percentages are better, as has been mentioned.

Rest assured that there is really no difference between 600 and 1700 in terms of efficacy. 1700 is almost off the scale! 600 and you are living normal.


Offline CJWAUS

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Re: Major CD4 Drop Question
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2006, 12:27:08 AM »
Thanks to all for the responses.  I asked my case manager to find me a diffrent doctor, and I will get retested in a month or so.   

Offline bobik

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Re: Major CD4 Drop Question
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2006, 09:57:57 AM »

A cd4 count of 1700 is very high, usually caused by high total lymphocytes. I really think that the stress around moving could cause that drop and I wouldn;t be surprised if your percentage hadn't changed that much. Try to find that number, then you really know if you should be worried.

Good luck!

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Offline DingoBoi

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Re: Major CD4 Drop Question
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2006, 06:12:18 AM »
my doctor give NO credence to high cd4's in general.

I've initially tested at 740.. dropped steadily to 500..then started meds... I rebounded to about 800 then jumped to 1625, then back down to 820 then back up to 1540.

What does that mean.. Nothing.   At higher cd4's, it means nothing at all.   they bounce around like crazy. 

Was I concerned when I dropped from 1600+ to 840?  Sure... I thought I had just lost half my immune system.  But I didn't.

My immune system is fine, and the cd4's are not indicative of functionality at a higher level of counts.   (Now they certainly are more important at lower levels, but within the normal range, the are going to fluctuate greatly even on a day to day basis.


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