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Author Topic: Thinking about having bloodwork done just once a year...  (Read 1065 times)

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Offline CallMeSid

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  • Member
  • Posts: 88
Thinking about having bloodwork done just once a year...
« on: May 26, 2009, 11:25:31 PM »
I'm just shy of the two-year mark of testing HIV+ and after my most recent labs (see signature footer), I'm thinking that I can probably starting having my bloodwork done once a year for (hopefully) a couple of years, unless I see something that changes.  My numbers have been pretty stable (and I suppose "good") for the last two years, so I don't know that quarterly or semi-annual labs are necessary.  My relationship with my doc is not the best (long story) and I didn't think of asking for his thoughts on this, but thought I'd post this here and see what you knowledgeable folks have to say.  Should I stick with labs every six months or would every 12 months suffice for now?  I'm paying out of pocket for these labs now and if they're not absolutely necessary, I'd prefer to spend the money on something else (i.e. bills).

 
07/2006 HIV-negative
06/2007 HIV-positive
07/2007 CD4: 795 (40%), VL: <50
09/2007 CD4: 629 (43%), VL: 895  (~2 weeks after measles/mumps/rubella booster)
12/2007 CD4: 854 (45%), VL: <50
03/2008 CD4: 880 (45%), VL: 151
12/2008 CD4: 943 (46%), VL: 116
05/2009 CD4: 865 (44%)  VL: 107

Offline xyahka

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  • Posts: 778
  • Dance together!! aha!! aha!! I like it!!
Re: Thinking about having bloodwork done just once a year...
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2009, 12:28:11 AM »
Here in Latin America we have labs (only cd4) twice per year.... i always wonder what's going on in me during those 6 months. Anyways, i was under no medical coverage for long time not knowing my cd4 and that got on my nerves... i would suggest if not 4 or twice per year at least get them every 9 months... 12 months would be too long time to wait for me.

just my point of view.

cheers,

Juan Carlos
13/03/07 1er diagnóstico /Peso: 79kg
19/04/07 CD4: 494 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 80kg
19/07/07 CD4: 659 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79.5kg
06/03/08 CD4: 573 (después de meses muy deprimido) /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79kg
17/09/08 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 84Kg
06/02/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 85Kg /HCV: Neg /HBV: Neg.
07/03/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg / Gym 3días/semana y Natación 2días/semana.
12/05/09 CD4: 470 /Cviral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg.
08/07/09 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 77Kg.
09/12/09 CD4: 510 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg. No medicinas aún
10/01/10 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
15/05/10 CD4: 320 /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
01/02/11 CD4: 291 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
05/05/11 CD4: 366 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
27/07/11 CD4: 255 /CViral: 138000 /Peso: 78kg.

Disfrutando y aceptando una nueva vida...

Offline Robert

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  • Posts: 2,639
Re: Thinking about having bloodwork done just once a year...
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2009, 02:18:40 AM »

hi sid.

your numbers are really good.  In fact, they're incredible.  Did your VL ever spike?  The cd4 counts are respectable and the %'s are even better.

How's your general health?  If you're feeling Ok, I think with numbers like that I would do the 1x year bit, especially if it saves money and I'm not all that hot on my doc. 

But that's me.  I bet you'll get a lot more people advising against it.

robert
..........

Offline fearless

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  • Posts: 2,191
Re: Thinking about having bloodwork done just once a year...
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2009, 02:49:36 AM »
Great numbers Sid,

I agree with you and Robert - with your numbers 12 months sounds like a reasonable proposition.
I'm sure there will be plenty that don't agree as 12 months is a long time and lots can happen. My only caveat would be to make sure you listen to your body and if you notice any negative changes then think about having bloods done within the 12 months.

I hate having mine done every 3 months, but as I have to go to the doctors to get new prescriptions he kinda has me over the coals. Next visit I'm gonna see what he says about only taking bloods every second visit. However, as I live in a nanny state I'm almost certain ther will be a requirement or he will insist on 3 monthly draws.
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline Cliff

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  • Posts: 2,645
Re: Thinking about having bloodwork done just once a year...
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 04:52:06 AM »
I go every 6 months, but at my clinic they only do viral loads every 12 months if you're infection is stable (whether on meds or not).  So if your doctor isn't too keen on you going every 12 months, you could change the frequency of the tests received during your visits to cut costs. 

I assume the viral load is the most expensive, so perhaps drop that one from every visit to every other visit.

Offline bocker3

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,266
  • You gotta enjoy life......
Re: Thinking about having bloodwork done just once a year...
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2009, 07:49:39 AM »
I know that your question is about bloodwork, but it seems to me a bigger issue might be....  why do you stay with a doctor if your relationship with him is not good??

Additionally, with the way that your body seems to be handling this virus (I'm assuming that you aren't on meds) I'll bet there are a number of studies you could be part of that would probably cover any lab costs. 

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline next2u

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  • Posts: 1,760
Re: Thinking about having bloodwork done just once a year...
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2009, 08:23:06 AM »
sounds great. congrats on the fab numbers. i want to move to a 3 time a year testing schedule if possible. if you feel comfortable with your numbers and are paying out of pocket i'd def move forward with that idea. but, i'd still talk to my asshole doctor about it.

maybe cd4 (or the least expensive test) once every 6 months. figure out what works best and keep making adjustments after that that fit your lifestyle and your dr's recommendations.

midapr07 - seroconversion
sept07 - tested poz
oct07 cd4 1013; vl 13,900; cd4% 41
feb08 cd4  694;  vl 16,160; cd4% 50.1
may08 cd4 546; vl 91,480; cd4% 32
aug08 cd4 576; vl 48,190; cd4% 40.7
dec08 cd4 559; vl 63,020; cd4% 29.4
feb09 cd4 464; vl 11,000; cd4% 26
may09 cd4 544; vl 29,710; cd4% 27.2
oct09 cd4 ...; vl 23,350; cd4% 31.6
mar10 cd4 408; vl 59,050; cd4% 31.4
aug10 cd4 328; vl 80,000; cd4% 19.3 STARTED ATRIPLA
oct10 cd4 423; vl 410 ;); cd4% 30.2
jun11 cd4 439; vl <20 ;); cd4% 33.8 <-Undetectable!
mar12 cd4 695; vl ud; cd4% 38.6
jan13 cd4 738; vl ud; cd4% 36.8
aug13 cd4 930; vl ud; cd4% 44.3

Offline CallMeSid

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  • Member
  • Posts: 88
Re: Thinking about having bloodwork done just once a year...
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 10:08:15 AM »
Thanks for the feedback everybody.

I hear what you're saying, Xyahka, about "wondering what's going on in me during those 6 months".  I suppose if I start getting anxious about my numbers, I can go in before the 12 month mark to have the blood drawn.

Cliff, that's a good point about maybe doing the VL less frequently and I'll consider it.

Bocker3, you're right, I'm not on meds.  I stay with this current doctor because (a) he's the only gay doctor in my town and (b) he lets me pay for the labs out of pocket and submits it under an alias.  That said, I have detected a marked change in his attitude toward me since I tested poz and I've lost a great deal of confidence in his knowledge/ability since I tested poz (long story that I won't go into here).  Fortunately, I don't need to rely upon him too much at this point and if/when I ever do, by then I'll be out of this backwater town and will get what I need from elsewhere.  I hear what you're saying about possibly being in a study that will cover my labs and I'm actually looking into one, but I'm not joining if I have to supply my real name and other identifiers.

Thanks again everybody -- I do appreciate the feedback!
07/2006 HIV-negative
06/2007 HIV-positive
07/2007 CD4: 795 (40%), VL: <50
09/2007 CD4: 629 (43%), VL: 895  (~2 weeks after measles/mumps/rubella booster)
12/2007 CD4: 854 (45%), VL: <50
03/2008 CD4: 880 (45%), VL: 151
12/2008 CD4: 943 (46%), VL: 116
05/2009 CD4: 865 (44%)  VL: 107

Offline Basquo

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  • Posts: 3,236
Re: Thinking about having bloodwork done just once a year...
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 12:28:40 PM »
Most studies I know of will require your identification, but it's not directly linked to your actual results.  Someone else can chime in to explain it better.  But also, many studies won't give you your personal test results, either. Massachusetts General knows why I'm a medical freak but damned if they'll share that info with me.

I've gone a year and a half between labs, but I prefer at least every six months.

 


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