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Author Topic: When Does the CD4 Increase?  (Read 4557 times)

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Offline tplmc1964

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  • Posts: 24
When Does the CD4 Increase?
« on: December 12, 2009, 09:19:50 PM »
Newbie question, I'm not clear on - figured someone here may have some thoughts. As previous states in my introduction to this post, I'm newly detected, but not newly infected, at least I believe. My CD4 = 300 and my VL is 48,000 at time of testing. I'm on Atripla just three, tonight is four nights now. In looking over a lot of this forums stats, seems like things are kind of all over the map, some have very high VL's and very low CD4's and as time advances, it appears that their CD4's don't have nearly the improvement the VLs do? My first test is in Feb. to determine the effectiveness of this med. I'm not expecting miracles, but my CD4 is 300 and I am on treatment for thrush, a fungal infection and have caught a cold / sinus infection which does seem to be getting better. Thrush responded well to a pill for yeast infection and I have a topical for the rash. Not to ramble here, but as we go through winter months, I'm terrified of a low CD4 count. Should I just expect not to expect a major increase with this, and like my Dr. hope for a major decrease in my VL? Some of your stats show huge jumps in great directions, other's show huge VL drops and very little movement in CD4. I know there's no real definitive answer here, just wondered if anyone had some thoughts on what to "typically expect" for the first several months and why one is or isn't more important than the other?

Thanks -

Online leatherman

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Re: When Does the CD4 Increase?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2009, 09:44:48 PM »
I'm terrified of a low CD4 count. Should I just expect not to expect a major increase with this, and like my Dr. hope for a major decrease in my VL? ..... why one is or isn't more important than the other?
For a while, after I was diagnosed with AIDS (tcells 5  vl 680,000) I was pretty worried about having a low tcell count too. It's been 17 yrs now, and my tcells have only gone over 300 twice (305, 311) in all that time; for the most part they have hovered around 225. However, in the last decade I've only had the flu twice and haven't been back into the hospital since the initial bouts of PCP and pnuemonia. So it's really not about how many tcells you have, it's about how well they work ;)

(You do realize all this means you already have MORE tcells than I've had in nearly two decades :P, and that I'm jealous, right?  :D)

It's much more important to get your VL suppressed. The more HIV running around, the more damage it's constantly doing to your system and the more it's taxing your immune system. When the VL is low, then your tcells aren't so overworked and can keep you well - even if you only have a low amount of them.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Assurbanipal

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  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: When Does the CD4 Increase?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2009, 10:21:11 PM »
People who start HAART with relatively high cd4 counts  tend to have a better response .  (BTW, that's including you in the group with relatively high counts) 

It's not guaranteed, but your odds of a good result are a lot better than for those of us who started HAART with very low tcell counts.

Mentally, I tend to think of the important thresholds as
above 50
above 100
above 200
in the normal range

That's because people become quite susceptible to various opportunistic infections at counts below those thresholds. 

So, eyeing your counts, I'd say you are already over the three lowest thresholds and the important thing is to be adherent to your meds so the virus stops killing your tcells -- then they will likely recover fairly fast -- but even if they don't you are above the worst danger points anyway.

Try not to worry too much -- you will probably do well -- and the main thing is to focus on killing the virus.

5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline tplmc1964

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  • Posts: 24
Re: When Does the CD4 Increase?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2009, 10:38:40 PM »
Thanks a lot - both, and nice to meet you too.

My doc already described my symptoms as being opportunistic infection. I panic easily. What she later said was, "fungus is everywhere, you just picked up a yeast infection in your throat and on your chest, butt, back and arms...and this is ALL treatable.." For that I was comforted, the thrush is all but gone now, the rash, may take a bit longer. Having nothing to compare my numbers to until coming here and reading things like, "-200 is full blown AIDS" I just thought, "dear God, I'm that close?" After seeing people here with two digit CD's and VL's over 100,000 and saying they are 15 plus year survivors? What a comfort. I know we / I have to be careful about everything, what we eat, how we live etc. and just do it differently. I was ready for that anyway. I'm a thirty year smoker, and a twenty year drinker. ( I was told a couple glasses of wine or some beer are fine, and as for smoking, we'll get to that eventually, just cut down for now...") that was from my Dr.

I've learned more this evening than I have in three weeks, how lucky we are to have each other, complete strangers from all over the world, living with the same thing, thus we're not really strangers anymore. Thanks for making me feel better. I'll concentrate on the VL and killing the virus. I set insects free from my house, but I'm happy to kill this virus. <G>

To Leatherman - thanks for that inspiration, 17 years? So you were diagnosed in the scarier days, with some terrifying numbers. You must wonder now how you got through? Thanks for letting me know that. I'm not letting it get me down, at least I'm getting a little better about it. Sure it haunts my every thought, but I stay busy, I don't lay in bed all day, I've barely missed work and I just think right now the more I know, the stronger I will be.

So again, thank you both for responding. I'm proud to meet you.

Tim and no I don't mind sharing my real name. We're family right? I have nothing to hide. I live Dallas, TX.


Offline Assurbanipal

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  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: When Does the CD4 Increase?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2009, 10:54:23 PM »
Welcome to the forums, BTW

Oh, and have you seen the lessons here?  They are up above under "Treatment" or just click here http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Introduction_4702.shtml

Be well
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline tplmc1964

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: When Does the CD4 Increase?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2009, 11:05:33 PM »
Thanks, and now that my major concerns have been addressed, I'm reading how this whole forum thing works...appreciate the heads up.

Online leatherman

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  • Posts: 6,063
  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: When Does the CD4 Increase?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2009, 12:33:44 AM »
I'm not letting it get me down, at least I'm getting a little better about it. Sure it haunts my every thought, but I stay busy, I don't lay in bed all day, I've barely missed work and I just think right now the more I know, the stronger I will be.
Don't fret about fretting too much, we've all gone through a lot of that. ;) And there's no knowing when you'll get the chance to fret about it a little more. LOL :D But you're already doing the best things you can - staying busy, moving forward, living your life, and learning all you can.

But don't obsess about learning everything all at once either. Like Assurbanipal said about things, you situation is troublesome but it's not like you're about to keel over dead. LOL ;D (Trust us on that one too. Lots of us have been in that situation) As time goes by, with the AM lessons and chatting with others here, you'll learn all the things you'll need to get you health back and work on keeping it.

A couple quick tips - 1) stay on top of taking your meds! 2) If you have side effect issues, do a search in the forums, start a thread, and/or ask your doc. 3) remember it's about the "trends" of your numbers, so keep track and pay attention to where they're going. (okay that was three things and not a couple; but I'm from the Carolinas, where "a couple" could mean two to a handful. ROFL ;D)

To Leatherman - thanks for that inspiration, 17 years? So you were diagnosed in the scarier days, with some terrifying numbers. You must wonder now how you got through? ... Sure it haunts my every thought...
Lordy! I've got stories that'll curl your hair :o; but I don't want to scare you. It's Christmastime not Halloween (though some of my scary stories are about the actual haunted house I lived in :o) For right now just know that a lot of people have been through a lot of stuff and somehow managed to pull through, stay alive, and get on with their lives. Any time you start feeling too down (I mean really down in the dumps, because everybody is allowed some sad time) just remember people here can sympathize and will probably have some excellent advice for you. ;)

I'm sad that you ended up here :'(; but I'm glad you ended up here. :)
welcome and happy holidaze!
Mikie
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Posts: 7,099
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: When Does the CD4 Increase?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2009, 05:37:48 AM »
Hello tplmc,

I think that by the next time you get you blood tests done, that you will see some encouraging results.  As stated earlier, just be adherant to your meds.

When I started meds in October of 2003 my t-cell count was 16.  I also had several opportunistic infections going on, along with an earlier case of pneumonia.

CD4 numbers can bounce around a lot. up and down... Mine have gone up and down throughout these past 6 years on meds. I will post them for you, but remember, my numbers are not reflective of how  yours will progress. I was in a much worse situation than you.

Starting from 10/2003 to 10/19/09, with one ( December ) result pending :


10/15/03 --CD4 ---16 (started meds)

12/3/03----CD4----48

1/7/04-----CD4-----76

2/18/04---CD4-----87

3/31/04---CD4-----125

5/17/04---CD4-----139

6/28/04---CD4-----150

8/30/04---CD4----199

11/08/04-CD4----253

2/7/05----CD4----239

5/16/05---CD4---213

8/16/05---CD4---333

11/15/05--CD4--328

2/14/06---CD4---279

5/16/06---CD4--350

7/12/06---CD4--322

10/11/06--CD4---286

1/11/07---CD4---332

4/19/07---CD4---380


8/15/07---CD4---366

11/05/07---CD4---295

1/14/08---CD4---303

4/21/08--CD4---379

7/22/08--CD4---327

10/13/08--CD4--323

1/15/09--CD4---331

4/14/09--CD4---295

7/14/09---CD4---352

10/19/09--CD4----355

I have one pending CD4 and viral load, that should arrive in the mail this week.



Take care of yourself, try not to focus on the numbers.  Eat well, sleep well, take your meds on time, don't miss doses, and avoid stress, and you'll do OK. As I stated earlier, I'm sure you will see improvements soon !!


Ray
« Last Edit: December 13, 2009, 05:44:14 AM by J.R.E. »
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 6/4/14,  t-cells are at 423, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 13% 

  
 62 years young.

Offline tplmc1964

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: When Does the CD4 Increase?
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2009, 01:39:08 PM »
You know what's kind of funny, not "ha-ha" funny...just funny. The first night I took my first dose, was scary. I think because it was me saying, "this is really happening" several days later, it's still a little, well, sad I guess but thank God it's there. This week I begin really watching my diet, I read up on nutrition and mine has always shall we say, sucked. I'm very busy, I skip meals, I eat F.F. I drink a lot of Coke etc. This AM I had a good breakfast, some coffee and am now on bottle number two of .16oz of plain old water. Eessh, hating every minute of it, but I'll treat myself to a Coke this afternoon when I accomplish a couple of things.

I am good about meds, I have high blood pressure, so same deal, you can't skip doses, go on and off of it...my BP is extremely high if not treated, so along with that regime a new one. Both life saving.

I'm hopeful as  I move fowardl, I'm not expecting miracles, in fact I've decided not to expect anything other than that I will survive and although some of these infections are a bummer I know they will dissipate with time and treatment...and I know others may show up too. I guess it's best to just accept and expect the unknown.

For anyone else new to their diagnosis, the last two weekends I spend pretty much laying in a fetal position on my bed. Mostly because I was in that waiting stage, all I knew was that I was infected. Finding out the numbers, at least gave me facts, good bad or indifferent. With those facts I could now come here and discuss my fears and read the success stories. I haven't hit the bed once - didn't even think about it. Will all my days be happy? No. But they weren't before so why is now any different? I've been infected for more than two years, only difference is now I know. And moreover, I have somewhere to go and learn, and ask and talk.

Thanks for sharing your numbers Ray, bet those first ten months were nail biters, how thrilled you must have been to hit 333 coming from a 16? I know they fluctuate and someone wrote me last night, that it's not so much how many CD4's you have, it's having healthy CD4's. I liked that advice and obviously you're living proof of it.

Thanks again - enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Tim

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,099
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: When Does the CD4 Increase?
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2009, 03:55:35 PM »

 I have high blood pressure, so same deal, you can't skip doses, go on and off of it...my BP is extremely high if not treated, so along with that regime a new one. Both life saving.


Tim

Hey Tim,

How long have you been dealing with high blood pressure?

I was at the VA clinic this past week, and my blood pressure was high.  They took it twice over a period of an hour, and each time it read about 161 over 101.  I didn't like that at all. We're looking into that further on my next visit with the HIV specialist at the VA, in January.

I've never had a problem with BP, bit it seems to be going up this past year.

Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 6/4/14,  t-cells are at 423, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 13% 

  
 62 years young.

Offline RedBear

  • Member
  • Posts: 34
Re: When Does the CD4 Increase?
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2009, 12:35:40 PM »
Hi Ray,
   I was reading the forums and came across your question about your blood pressure.   I can tell you that my numbers were similar to yours whereas the bp is concerned.  It took them about 6 months to find the correct combination of bp meds, but now my pressure is 120/80 and is well controlled.   I am taking Metroprol XL 100 mg  1 daily, Lisinopril 10 mg. 1 daily, Rosuvastatin 10 mg. 1 daily, and Gemfibrozil 600 mg. 1 2x's daily. The last two are for chlorestrol and triglycerides.  Just thought you may be an option for you.  Has done me a world of good.  Feel better than I had for years.  Anyway, good luck on this, I know it's a great concern for the doc's for people on HIV meds.    David
Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could.  Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day.  You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with you old nonsense. 
                              Emerson

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,099
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: When Does the CD4 Increase?
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2009, 07:18:46 PM »


Thanks David,  I just sent you a PM.


Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 6/4/14,  t-cells are at 423, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 13% 

  
 62 years young.

 


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