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Author Topic: Infection, Diagnosis, First Labs, Treatment Dilemma.  (Read 2297 times)

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Offline boneil

  • Member
  • Posts: 18
Infection, Diagnosis, First Labs, Treatment Dilemma.
« on: August 26, 2009, 01:07:46 AM »
Wanted to introduce myself and share my experience around the first 7 weeks of being positive.  I was infected on 7/5/09 (yes that sure) and had acute infection symptoms about 21 days later.  I was ELISA reactive by 8/5/09 but WB indeterminate - since confirmed postive :(   This period was hell.

My first labs were drawn on 8/10/09 and CD4 was 480 / 31% with a viral load of 18,579.  I have been watching another thread in the forum that weighs the pros and cons of early treatment and it seems there are many others like me, recently diagnosed that are struggling to figure this out.  When it comes to CD4 count is 500 the new 350?  How important is viral load?

My doctor wants to do another blood test in a month (isn't 3 months normal?).  From our conversations I know he favors early treatment and he seems to have the "we have good drugs that will get you undetectable" mentality.  In short he seems viral load phobic :) and I know if the VL isn't lower than 2,000 he will recommend treatment - (easy for him - he doesn't have to take the pills).  He isn't pushy and recognizes it's completely my decision. 

What do folks think is a reasonable amount of time to let the virus "settle down" before seeing trends and making a "no return" decision for treatment?  I have so much regret right now about getting HIV i'm scared i'll make a wrong decision on treatment.

As a life changer this HIV thing sucks - there I said it.  These forums have really helped (thanks OC!) but the sadness is still there...  I find that each day is getting better (really) but lots of frustrating changes are ahead. 
07/05/09  Infected
07/25/09  ARS symptoms
08/05/09  ELISA+, WB indeterminate
08/10/09  cd4 480 31% vl 18579
09/24/09  cd4 633 33% vl 764
12/21/09  cd4 611 37% vl 1211
04/05/10  cd4 610 29% vl 2661
07/19/10  cd4 615 30% vl 8875
12/06/10  cd4 686 31% vl 29204
03/28/11  cd4 718 29% vl 32868
06/27/11 waiting
07/01/11 started Truvada/Isentress

Offline confidentIwillbeOK

  • Member
  • Posts: 131
Re: Infection, Diagnosis, First Labs, Treatment Dilemma.
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2009, 08:16:25 AM »
I am in the same boat as you time-wise.  Getting another blood test a month later is perfectly normal and you will probably get another one a month after that.  These data points can help your doctor monitor your body's natural reaction to fighting the virus.  I have spoken with world class experts at 3 facilities in Boston (as well as a ton of reading including scientific and medical text books) and feel very confident that waiting a few months or longer to reach a decision about a treatment plan will have absolutely no impact on my long term health.  The question in a few months becomes whether or not starting meds with a low VL and high CD4 is the appropriate thing to do.  More and more the health care providers are thinking that starting earlier than a count of 350 is wise and possibly within a few years it could be at 500.  I am still deciding about myself when all my final tests are back (I have had round 2 taken).

Let me know if you want me to recommend a book or two and/or some excellent websites. All I have done in the past month is read so I now have a ton of resources. 

Later,
Steve
 

Offline ruralguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 141
Re: Infection, Diagnosis, First Labs, Treatment Dilemma.
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2009, 10:02:45 AM »
I'm in the same time-frame as well.  I found out at the end of June but it is not clear when or how I was infected..sometime in the last 18 months.  So my doc wanted a second set of bloods before decisions about meds.  I get the results on Monday.

Waiting to make a good decisions isn't an issue.  I read that the older you are, the more important it is to start early (eg CD4 at 500 or so). 

Atripla and, just since July, insentress/truvada seem to be the preferred combos at the moment.  Steve, I'd like the links to sites you've been reading.  I just got Gallant's book but if you know of others, I'm interested.
tested positive June 19, 2009
7/3/09 vrl 9000 cd4 - 300
8/14/09 cd4 - 350, 20%
started Atripla 9/14/09
10/5/09 vrl undetectable, WOW so fast!
12/28/09 vrl undetectable, CD4 - 615  27% cholesterol down, kidney function normal
4/26/10 vrl undetectable, CD4-600, kidney and liver numbers normal
9/9/10 vrl undetectable, CD4-685
1/3/11 vrl undetectable, CD4-700
all 2011 and Jan 2012 visits vrl undetectable CD4 ranged from 715-645
5/7/2012  vrl undetectable, CD4-615, all liver, kidney, lipids, heart functions, etc normal


On Atripla:  "Your mileage may vary"

Offline ruralguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 141
Re: Infection, Diagnosis, First Labs, Treatment Dilemma.
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2009, 10:06:08 AM »
I wanted to add the I went through an extreme emotional crash at the beginning of all this.  I'm better now, but still very unsettled.  It is very dificult.  I hope in a year, with meds, I'll just be able to integrate this into my routine and more-or-less forget about it.  Maybe?
tested positive June 19, 2009
7/3/09 vrl 9000 cd4 - 300
8/14/09 cd4 - 350, 20%
started Atripla 9/14/09
10/5/09 vrl undetectable, WOW so fast!
12/28/09 vrl undetectable, CD4 - 615  27% cholesterol down, kidney function normal
4/26/10 vrl undetectable, CD4-600, kidney and liver numbers normal
9/9/10 vrl undetectable, CD4-685
1/3/11 vrl undetectable, CD4-700
all 2011 and Jan 2012 visits vrl undetectable CD4 ranged from 715-645
5/7/2012  vrl undetectable, CD4-615, all liver, kidney, lipids, heart functions, etc normal


On Atripla:  "Your mileage may vary"

Offline CHUCK610

  • Member
  • Posts: 61
Re: Infection, Diagnosis, First Labs, Treatment Dilemma.
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2009, 08:52:33 PM »
Well I'm 4 months into my diagnosis and have been on meds for almost 2..I have my next ID appt on sept 17 and am looking forward to it. I'm so hoping my cd4 is up and my viral load in undetectable. In the beginning I had doubts on when it was appropriate to start meds, but the more I read and talked to people on this site the more I leaned toward starting early (and am glad I did). I feel better the fatigue is pretty much gone (except when I stay up half the night playing video games). I have had fewer bad days over the last 2 weeks. Do I still think of my hiv status  HELL YEAH everyday when I take my meds it reminds me. but then it passes. I'm just enjoying each day and taking each day at a time not planning to far ahead.

So what I'm trying to say is that like everyone on here that has been so supportive and saying it does get better. It REALLY does as will your decision process, do what you feel it right for you and that makes you feel better about it.

So come here like I do when you need support, but continue to live your life to its fullest and do something you enjoy each day. It will help you get through it as it did for me.


Live long and prosper
Diagnosed 5/01/09
cd4 289 vl 20k 20.5%
6/03/09 started med Reyataz, Norvir, Truvada
7/6/09 cd4 463, vl 1,400. 22%
7/22/09 cd4 472 vl 260, 29%
9/1/09 cd4 462 vl 218, 30.8%
10/22/09 cd4 462 vl undetectable (yahoo) 30.6 %
01/21/2010 cd4 537 undetectable  35.8%

 


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