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Author Topic: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?  (Read 3602 times)

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Offline hereinny

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  • Posts: 66
Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« on: April 07, 2009, 02:56:38 PM »
I was recently diagnosed as positive.  My first round of tests showed a CD4 of 287 (17%) and VL of 131,000.  I went to a second doctor who gave me a second test.  This test was taken 2 weeks after the first test.  The results of the second test were CD4 of 243 (17.6%) and VL of 106,000.  I'm not sure what to do and I'm in a little bit of a panic.  I have not heard back from my doctor on the second test but he said based on the first test that all my other numbers (kidney, liver, etc) are good so he said my overall health is good.  He feels that (based on the first test) I do need to start meds soon but still wants the pheno/genotype results. 
My question is this:  Is it dangerous for me to wait any longer for meds?  Am I in danger of getting sick or doing too much damage waiting?

Offline Peter Staley

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Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 03:41:19 PM »
Welcome to our forums -- glad you found us.

As to when to start meds, interpreting your lab numbers can also depend on WHEN you were infected.  If it was recently (in the last few weeks or months), then you might want to wait a bit and see where your numbers settle after the "acute infection" phase (which can temporarily lower your CD4 cells).

If it's been longer than that, then you probably should consider starting therapy soon.  That's not to say you don't have time to think about this and research it.  You're not in any immediate danger, based on your numbers.  Most opportunistic infections that hit people living with HIV don't happen until their CD4 counts are below 200.  But current treatment guidelines recommend starting treatment when your CD4's are consistently below 350.

We've got a great lesson on this site to help you with this decision:

When Should I Start Treatment, and What Should I Take First?

Offline hereinny

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  • Posts: 66
Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2009, 04:09:41 PM »
Unfortunately I don't really know when I was infected.  It was certainly no more than 3 years ago but probably less.  My first doctor said that they don't usually see numbers like this in people who have been infected in less than 5 to 10 years.  He also said that this could be a very aggressive strain.  Additionally my genotype indicated that this strain did not show any resistance to any meds.  My second doctor (2nd opinion) said that the genotype was not a very good test for this and has ordered a phenotype.  Does that sound right?

Thanks for your fast response.

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2009, 08:25:20 PM »
The link below gives a basic explanation of genotype and phenotype, basically "While the genotype and phenotype measure different aspects of resistance, they are providing similar types of information. In all cases, the phenotype results from the genotype, i.e. usually a structural change will occur first, and soon thereafter a phenotypic change will result."

What your doctor basically wants to know from the phenotype test is how your particular version of the virus interacts with all of the available HIV drugs in order to know which, if any, you are resistant to and which, if any, you are sensitive to. It's normal procedure to do this and it's necessary in order to determine which drugs to choose from.

http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/Resistance/Archive/versus/Q194705.html

If this is not a recent seroconversion, then you should probably start meds but, as Peter explained, it's not like you have to start immediately. Stay as calm as possible, since stressing out itself can possibly affect your immune system. Take care of yourself, eat right, get the right amount of sleep and get the phenotype test that your doctor recommends and when you have all the results you can decide with your doctor at that point more specifically what you should go on and when, etc....... don't panic!
« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 08:30:06 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline hereinny

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Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2009, 08:33:02 AM »
Is there some point where they will be able to tell that this is some sort of surge due to a recent exposure as opposed to an older infection?  There is just something about all this that doesn't seem to make sense with respect to the timing.  This leaves alto of unanswered questions for me that are very distracting.  I'm just trying to make sense of the whole mess.

Also, as far as "don't panic",,,,,,WAY too late for that advice.  LOL  <kidding>  I'm actually doing fairly well.  When i get news like this I panic for an hour or so and then settle down.

thanks for all the help, if anyone else has any comments, please post them.

Offline Ann

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Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2009, 09:02:32 AM »
Hi Here, welcome to the forums.

You'll have a better idea of what you're dealing with when you've got a few more lab results under your belt, at least a month or so apart. If your VL continues to go down and your CD4 and CD4% start to climb, you'll know it's a recent infection.

If they stay stable or the VL rises while the CD4s decline further, it's probably a more established infection. It is possible to need to start meds two to three years into your infection as some people's bodies deal with the virus better than others.

It's best if you're emotionally ready to start meds when you do start - because they're a big commitment and must be taken properly, which is more difficult to achieve if you're not mentally/emotionally ready. You do have time to get more results and become more accustomed to living with hiv - you don't have to rush into anything.

Good luck and hang in there...

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline komnaes

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Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2009, 09:17:18 AM »
Hey Hereinny,

One thing to keep in mind is that statistic is only relevant if it applies to you. I have to start meds around 2 years after my infection, and some of my friends almost have to start immediately. This virus behaves differently in different people.

You need a trend, but do be mindful of your general health conditions; if you feel something not right talk to your doctor. And I agree with Ann 100% that you need to be prepared and be ready mentally to take meds. It's probably also a good time to educate yourself more about the meds, etc.

Just to relate a bit of my experiences I could have started 2-3 months earlier, but I went through the pros and cons with my doctor and we talked a good deal about my options; at the end I decided to wait a bit and requested a test to be done shortly after my CD4 dropped below 250, following a year long trend of decline. And within that month I got myself prepared mentally and after the initial adjustment period I am doing rather well now.

From your posts it does sound your doctor knows their stuff, but it's always good to know what the right questions to ask.

Best of luck to you.. Shaun
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline justaguy

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  • Posts: 83
Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2009, 11:09:44 PM »
Is there some point where they will be able to tell that this is some sort of surge due to a recent exposure as opposed to an older infection?  There is just something about all this that doesn't seem to make sense with respect to the timing.  This leaves alto of unanswered questions for me that are very distracting.  I'm just trying to make sense of the whole mess.

Also, as far as "don't panic",,,,,,WAY too late for that advice.  LOL  <kidding>  I'm actually doing fairly well.  When i get news like this I panic for an hour or so and then settle down.

thanks for all the help, if anyone else has any comments, please post them.

Hereinny, I'm in almost the same boat, slightly worse actually.  I just tested positive a week ago Tuesday after being notified of odd findings in a life insurance blood test - panic ensued, I went to the local testing clinic, got the results, and I was floored.  Based on my sexual history, and a sudden realization that the flu I had last year a few weeks after that ONE sexual contact was actually my likely seroconversion (totally textbook - night sweats, swollen lymph nodes, rash, etc), I thought I had precisely pinpointed the person and time it happened.  Problem is, my doctor says my CD4 is currently only 136, which is typically indicative of an older infection.  I'm horrified.  But after reading and researching on here, my now slightly-modified understanding is that each person's body responds to the virus differently.  I've not been sick AT ALL since that seroconversion illness last May, and I don't feel sick now, except for the stress of the life changing diagnosis and some other stresses in my everyday life.  There is no chance this is a recent infection for me, I've been celibate for the last 6 months - just not in the mood, working a lot, etc....  My last negative test was towards the end of 2006 (is there such thing as a false negative?) when I was in a monogamous relationship that lasted another 1.5 years after that test, so worst case, my ex (supposedly negative) gave it to me shortly after that, I have had it 2.5 years, and I'm somehow already at CD4 of 136, which would still seem awfully bad considering that it usually takes 8 or 9 years to get that bad.  And I NEVER get sick.  I am meeting with an ID doctor next week, and hope to get started on meds ASAP to get this thing under control.  I'm really hopeful to find out more about how it got so bad so quickly.  And I'll be interested to see how things go for you since our circumstances sound kind of similar.  Keep us posted.
Estimated infection: 3/2008
Tested HIV positive: 3/31/2009
CD4 136/unknown %/VL 150,000: 4/6/2009
Started Atripla 4/17/2009
CD4 255/19%/VL 409 5/27/2009
CD4 247/??/VL 161 6/27/2009
CD4 257/21%/VL 60 7/22/2009
CD4 352/22%/VL Undetectable 10/21/2009
CD4 490/27%/VL Undetectable 2/15/2010
CD4 397/?/VL Undetectable 7/2/2010

Offline hereinny

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  • Posts: 66
Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2009, 03:16:01 AM »
I response to Justaguy: 
Thanks for your input on this.  This site has been a tremendous help to say the least.  I hardly see myself as someone who should be giving any advice at this point however id like to just pass along to you a few things.......
It seems there are a few general "rules", one is that you never should begin treatment based on one blood test.  My point is you might want to get more numbers before rushing to the meds. 
Second is that before doing anything, you should consider a second opinion. I am on my second doctor already in 5 weeks. I was very pleased with my first doctor as he was local and very willing to spend time answering questions.  Following my first blood test i did a great deal of reading  and when i got the results, everything he did was contrary to what i read as good and standard practice.  The second doctor i am seeing now is leaps and bounds better. I still plan another consult with one more doctor before pulling the trigger on meds.
Lastly,  if you receive blood work and the results seem somewhat strange or very unexpected, a second confirmatory test should always be conducted.
I did do some reading on the possibility of "false negatives"..  This appears to be highly unlikely.  One in a million chance sort of thing. 
It sounds like you have a pretty good idea about your time of infection based on the timing of what you believe to be your conversion.  If I go back to the last time i was sick (more than a cold or stomach bug that lasted more than a day) i would have to go back to 2002/2003 which would mean at least 4 tests were wrong.  That is statistically impossible.
It seems that your right in that everyones body responds differently.  I will take that one step further and consider that perhaps there are many different strains that maybe have not been actually identified and maybe they get in and lie dormant without even causing the body to develop antibodies.  This would trip up most tests for sure.
I also have had partners that claim they were negative.  I believed them and they may have believed it themselves at the time. Very few people get tested as often as they should and even that does not mean they are neg.  it means they were neg. 3 months prior to their last test.
Bottom line is the whole thing sucks. LOTS of unanswered questions.  Most of which mean very little at this point but it is still frustrating not knowing.
Good luck to you and i would be interested in hearing how you make up.

Offline Peter Staley

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    • AIDSmeds.com
Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2009, 10:20:08 AM »
I must say, we're getting more and more reports in these forums of folks showing lower CD4s after recent infections than is typical.

There was a study reported last year showing that this trend has been quantified, and speculating that HIV may have become more virulent over the years:

http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/hiv_evolution_pathogenic_1667_15531.shtml

Fortunately, anti-HIV meds still seem very able to control today's HIV.


Offline clsoca

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  • Posts: 164
Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2009, 01:33:02 PM »
Before I started meds, I was examined by an ID Doc at the San Francisco Ward-86 clinic (2nd opinion). He shared with me that patients at the clinic are having to start HAART earlyer than in previous years. I had to start meds after 15 months from the verified infection date.
10/07 Infected
11/07 Seroconversion
07/08 Tested Poz
07/08 VL 487  CD4 658  (No Meds)
10/08 VL 286  CD4 724  (No Meds)
01/24/09 VL 30,100   CD4 329 CD4 30% (No Meds)
02/06/09 VL 44,000   CD4 367 CD4 36%  Blood Work @ UCLA (No Meds)
02/06/09 VL 44,000   CD4 317 CD4 35% Blood Work @ USC (No Meds)
02/12/09 VL 52,000   CD4 297 CD4 29%
02/12/09  Started Atripla
04/01/09 VL 60  CD4 667   CD4 48%
06-05-09  VL UD CD4 427   CD4 39%

Offline justaguy

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  • Posts: 83
Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2009, 11:35:43 PM »
I response to Justaguy: 
It seems there are a few general "rules", one is that you never should begin treatment based on one blood test.  My point is you might want to get more numbers before rushing to the meds. 
........
Lastly,  if you receive blood work and the results seem somewhat strange or very unexpected, a second confirmatory test should always be conducted.


The CD4 test that says 136 was run by my primary care physician two days after my positive Elisa, a day after he got the Western Blot from my life insurance company.  He's sending me to an ID doctor next Wednesday, who is also going to run another round of tests to confirm before starting me on meds.  My primary care doctor did start me on Bactrim to be on the safe side.  I'm also avoiding public places like the gym, washing my hands constantly, and being generally more OCD about germ avoidance than I already was.

Based on what I've read, I'm still pretty sure I'm willing to start meds sooner rather than later, but that could just be my current fear talking.  I'm really not worried about taking pills, I already take other meds for allergies, etc., and I'm always adherent.  Side effects do worry me a bit.  Very anxious to hear what the doctor has to say next week.
Estimated infection: 3/2008
Tested HIV positive: 3/31/2009
CD4 136/unknown %/VL 150,000: 4/6/2009
Started Atripla 4/17/2009
CD4 255/19%/VL 409 5/27/2009
CD4 247/??/VL 161 6/27/2009
CD4 257/21%/VL 60 7/22/2009
CD4 352/22%/VL Undetectable 10/21/2009
CD4 490/27%/VL Undetectable 2/15/2010
CD4 397/?/VL Undetectable 7/2/2010

Offline hereinny

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  • Posts: 66
Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2009, 08:15:35 AM »
Well, since i see to have a pretty good run going on here, i have another question.....I am resigned to the idea that i will likely begin meds very soon.  Both Doctors suggested Atripla however they both also said it might not be the best choice due to my job. 
In my job, i work different shifts, sometime days and sometime nights.  This pretty much negates the idea of taking it at bedtime.  I generally tolerate medication well and so long as the sleepiness is not too overwhelming, i should be ok with it at work. Nights are quiet at work so im not constantly on the move.
My question is this:  I'm not always in a place where i can take it at exactly the right time.  I should be able to take it within an hour or so of my regular time.  Will this be ok.  This would likely be once or twice a week at the very most.
I plan to take a couple of weeks off when i begin to get a handle on the side effects (if any) but at this stage of the game, I'm just trying to plan my strategy.

Offline Ann

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Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2009, 09:24:38 AM »
here,

You might want to look into the Reyataz, Norvir and Truvada combo. The issue with you and the Sustiva component of the Atripla isn't so much taking the dose at the same time, but more one of being able to function up to your normal standard after taking it just before or during your work shift. It's mainly taken at bedtime because so many people feel "drunk" for a while after dosing.

I still say you might yet be able to wait a while before needing to start meds, but the only way to know is to get more test results under your belt. However, you must do what you and your doctor are the most comfortable with.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline hereinny

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  • Posts: 66
Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2009, 09:58:36 AM »
I'm not too concerned with that buzzed feeling as people say that seems to wear off in an hour or two.  Additionally from what i have read, that side effect is sometimes just for the first few weeks or month.  If that is the case i can live with it for a while.  My doctor seems to have this thing about using PI's so he is sceptical about using them.
Is the 1 hour window when taking these meds a problem?

Offline Ann

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Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2009, 10:05:47 AM »
here,

PIs do have a bad press, but Reyataz is generally an exception. Most people I know on that combo have few, if any, side-effects. I happens to be my first choice for when I start meds, even though I was originally wary of PIs. Everything I've ever heard or read about this combo tells me that it's a winner. It's also a once-daily dosing, like Atripla.

And yes, most combos have an hour either side grace period in dosing, including the Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada and Atripla combos.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline clsoca

  • Member
  • Posts: 164
Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2009, 05:06:19 PM »
I can share with you that after being on Atripla for several weeks now, I have very few side-effects (e.g. ringing in my ears sometimes). I take it now as soon as I get off work while I am driving in the very stressful LA freeway system for an hour or so. My ID Doc told me to not sweat taking Atripla at the exact time every day. He suggested earmarking a 3 hour period each day for dosing. Also I have friends who are on Atripla who take it at 9pm during the week and take it at 2am on the weekends. These are friends of mine who have been on atripla since 2006 and they have not experienced any problems. My ID Doc said that the drug stays in your blood stream for a long time. But I am a worrywart, so I take my 1-2-3 pill nearly at the same time each day.

Also, if you live in the USA and work for a large company, you may want to request reasonable accommodation in adjusting your work hours during the atripla break-in period.
10/07 Infected
11/07 Seroconversion
07/08 Tested Poz
07/08 VL 487  CD4 658  (No Meds)
10/08 VL 286  CD4 724  (No Meds)
01/24/09 VL 30,100   CD4 329 CD4 30% (No Meds)
02/06/09 VL 44,000   CD4 367 CD4 36%  Blood Work @ UCLA (No Meds)
02/06/09 VL 44,000   CD4 317 CD4 35% Blood Work @ USC (No Meds)
02/12/09 VL 52,000   CD4 297 CD4 29%
02/12/09  Started Atripla
04/01/09 VL 60  CD4 667   CD4 48%
06-05-09  VL UD CD4 427   CD4 39%

Offline hereinny

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  • Posts: 66
Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2009, 10:50:43 AM »
I'm not too concerned with being on time so long as a half hour or 45 minutes each way is ok.  My bigger issue is the dizziness or sleepiness effect that it may have.  If these aren't too severe I don't see them as a problem either.  I guess the bottom line at this point is I just have to pull the trigger and see what happens.

Offline YaKaMein

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Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2009, 12:07:31 PM »
Hereinny,
At a minimum, based on your numbers so far, prophylaxis for some OI's and some immunizations are in order. This will give you some time to consider what HIV treatment to choose once genotypic/phenotypic/trophic tests are back. Taking some preventative steps will focus better on remaining healthy. It sounds like you're physically doing well but mentally stressing over possibilities. It's normal to do this in trying to control what we can.

I"m recognizing that I my CD4's may be at a plateau right now. My slow immune response is expected based on current studies. I'm adherent and consistently undetectable. My best judge of health is how I feel, which is pretty superb over the past year.

Lastly, there's much conjecture on infection period and immunological damage. We don't have much scientific data to clarify this. So, we're still theorizing 'years' of infection vs CD4 levels. Few can squarely know exact infection date [my sexual assault narrowed mine]. There may be much to learn from a study that follows infection date and immunodeficiency rates. Peter may be correct that a more virulent virus  may be lurking. I suspect that's my case. Regardless, the best news is that HAART curbed its replication for me.
09/11 Endocrine Consult
08/11 CD4 328 14.9% VL 0
 Disc'd Bactrim DEXA -3.1 Tscore
03/11 CD4 338 14.7% VL 0
11/10 CD4 300 14.3% VL 0 <20copies
07/10 CD4 336 14.0% VL 0 DEXA -2.7 Tscore
03/10 CD4 308 13.4% VL 0 Vit D normal
01/10 Began FOTO
11/09 CD4 274 13.7% VL 0 Chol 173 Trig 131
07/09 CD4 324 13.5% VL 0 DEXA -3.1 Tscore lumbar
03/09 CD4 207 10.9% VL 0
11/08 CD4 227 10.3% VL 0 Chol 176 Trig 156
04/08 CD4 228 9.5% VL 0
01/08 CD4 194 9.0% VL 0
09/07 CD4 176 8.3% VL 0
03/07 CD4 130 9.5% VL 0 Chol 261  Trig 227
12/06 CD4 109 6.4% VL 0
09/06 CD4  88 5.5% VL und desens'd rtd to Bactrim
08/06  Began Atripla
07/06 CD4  59 5.0% VL 145 Chol 117 Trig 104
06/06  Bactrim rash, X2 Dapsone
 EFV & Truvada Chol 128 Trig 131
05/06 CD4  6 (2.0%) VL 78667 only V179D mutation Dx PC MAC

Offline justaguy

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Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2009, 02:00:45 PM »
Hereinny:

Just an update.  I met with the specialist this week.  After a few days of thinking it over, I decided to go ahead and start medication.  He said my viral load was pretty high, not completely outrageous, but high enough that in combo with my CD4, he recommended starting.  I also felt better about "taking control" of the situation.  I went with Atripla.  Unlike you, my schedule is very regular, so taking it at night is OK for me.  Last night was my first pill, and it was quite a trip.  I'm glad I waited until the weekend, as I would have been worthless at work today.  My head is in a cloud for sure.  I'm functioning, and able to drive and run errands and do things around the house, but precise thinking would be difficult.  I think that I may have eaten too close (2.5 hours) to dosing time though, so tonight I will try to eat dinner extra early and see if that changes things.  I definitely had a fitful sleep last night.  Lots of dreams, some of them funny, none scary.  I'm going to start a dream journal.  ;D

I'm anxious to see what kind of progress the numbers make in the next few weeks.  I hope it doesn't take much time to get over this break-in period.  No way could I live with last night being my regular new "reality".
Estimated infection: 3/2008
Tested HIV positive: 3/31/2009
CD4 136/unknown %/VL 150,000: 4/6/2009
Started Atripla 4/17/2009
CD4 255/19%/VL 409 5/27/2009
CD4 247/??/VL 161 6/27/2009
CD4 257/21%/VL 60 7/22/2009
CD4 352/22%/VL Undetectable 10/21/2009
CD4 490/27%/VL Undetectable 2/15/2010
CD4 397/?/VL Undetectable 7/2/2010

Offline newbie05

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Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2009, 05:07:03 PM »
I am new to posting, but not new to reading. Sometimes when I feel blue, just reading all the posts on this forum gets me through. I contracted HIV in 2005. Tested positive July of 2005. I have always been healthy. In fact, my first lab showed t-cells way over 1100. Within the last 4 years, my t-cells nose-dived down to the low 200's. They stayed within 200-300 for a couple of years. Viral load always around 15,000-20,000. One month ago, I was put in the hospital for pnuemonia. My ID doctor came to visit me and said I had a common case of walking pnuemonia. She was on her to see about releasing me. Then, came back in the room and said it was PCP. They were going to change my treatment.  My t-cells were around 230. All the way around, I have not met any of the "normal" timeline of HIV infection. April 8, I began my first medication routine. I am on Atripla. I have never had one side effect. I often joke that I must have been given  a placeabo..(sp?)
I went to a wedding last night and drank a few glasses of wine, but was sure to not take my meds until the 2 hour waiting period. I woke up with a horrible headache, and can't shake it today. I too was hoping not to begin meds until many years from now, but am glad that Atripla was an option.

Offline hereinny

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Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2009, 02:31:49 PM »
Well, after seeing quite a few doctors and getting many opinions, today i met with a doctor who felt it best to hold off for a few more weeks on meds until i had one more blood test that would be 6 weeks from the first.  He feels that most likely i will need to begin the meds but feels its best to be certain that this is not just a surge from a more recent exposure. 
I was actually a little disappointed as had myself already to begin but this it much better.  At least i will know its the right thing to do and not simply be pretty sure.

Offline elf

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Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2009, 10:26:20 AM »
I tested positive 09/04/2008 and with my lab results (CD4: 353 *[13.2 %] , VL: 310k), I decided to start taking my meds immediately, so I took my 1st dose of Combivir&Kaletra 3 days later. Here in Southern Europe, we get medication for free, so I thought: Cd4 of 350 is when you're supposed to start therapy, so why not...I didn't know for sure when I was infected (my last test was in 2001 when I was 21.y.o.)...It may have been in February 2008 (unprotected sex :( ) or earlier...
---
*According to one classification CD4 13.2% means AIDS  :-\
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 10:31:31 AM by elf »
Let's have a Kiki!

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Low TCell and hig Viral, whats up?
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2009, 11:44:03 AM »
I tested positive 09/04/2008 and with my lab results (CD4: 353 *[13.2 %] , VL: 310k), I decided to start taking my meds immediately, so I took my 1st dose of Combivir&Kaletra 3 days later.

It sounds like in your case you made the right decision. I just wanted to point out, although you might already know this. Combivir is not bad but there are better medications available, especially for treatment-naive patients (depending on your resistance profile). Maybe the newer meds are not yet available where you live, especially since you get them for free?

 


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