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Author Topic: Tested Positive 03.17.10.. want your thoughts/ advice.. thank you  (Read 3269 times)

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Offline star_winking

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Hi all,

I' m 27 years old guy from India,  I was tested HIV positive on 17th March, 2010. I got my numbers on 26th March, 2010.

CD4 count : 752,
CD4 percentage : 29%  
Viral Load : 10,244

My doctor has told me there is no need to have any medication at this time and he has just given me multivitamin tablets to be taken twice a day.

I was surfing internet to educate myself more on HIV and get more information and I came across this site.

I am very much worried at this time, and I have concerns about how should I go ahead in life.

1. Should not I have any anti viral medication? My doctor has said no for it. If I don't have anti viral medication, then how will the viral load go down? If I don't have anti viral medication, then would not the viral load increase ?

2. What necessary steps should I take in order to increase my CD4 count and decrease my Viral load ?

3. How soon can I have my CD4 count to maximum level possible and how soon can I get the viral load to minimum or undetectable level ?


Your guidance and advice will be very much helpful and valuable to me and will help me to deal with this in an appropriate way. Request everyone to please advise and share views.

Thank you, take care and God bless.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 06:40:04 AM by star_winking »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Tested positive on 17th March 2010, got numbers, what now ?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2010, 08:26:00 PM »
Your doctor is right. Your numbers indicate that treatment is not really a priority for you at this stage. Remember though HIV lab results are about trends over time, not single test results viewed on their own.

I'd recommend you have your VL and CD4s worked up every 2 months or so.

Also, welcome to the Forums. Sorry to hear you've tested positive, glad you found us etc.

MtD

/edited for a missing word/
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 03:20:38 AM by matty.the.damned »

Offline Nestor

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Re: Tested positive on 17th March 2010, got numbers, what now ?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2010, 10:30:58 PM »

Hello Star_Winking,

Like Matty, I'm sorry to hear of your diagnosis but happy to welcome you to this forum. 

If you look below, you can see that my first lab test came back with results extremely similar to yours.  At the time I had already had HIV for a bit more than a year and a half.  Below you can also see a glimpse of what the next four years held for me.  Health-wise, I'm still fine! 

When I got my first set of numbers, here's what they said:

1. Like your doctor, mine too said that there was no need for any medication at that time. 

2. Since numbers fluctuate and one set of labs by itself does not give enough information, I was to come back in one month for a second set.  (As it happened I not only did not come back in a month, I didn't even come back for something like ten months--I do not recommend that you follow my example in that!) 

3. If the second set did not differ radically from the first, I would thereafter get labs done every three or four months.  (That is what I have in fact done ever since--every three months.)

You can see that in, I think, my second and third sets of labs, the viral load was on the high side.  My doctor very wisely told me not to panic, and as you can see it went back down after that.  That is a blip and everyone gets them.  As Matty said, we look at trends over time, not blips. 

As for what your nutrition and daily food should be: the same as HIV-negative people (that is, it should be healthy nutritious stuff) but even healthier.  There are lots of things that have some anti-viral claims being made for them (bitter melon, garlic, yogurt, shiitake mushrooms...) and since they're basically healthy things I eat a good amount of them; I have no idea whether they're doing anything specifically against HIV. 

Good luck! 
Summer 2004--became HIV+
Dec. 2005--found out

Date          CD4    %       VL
Jan. '06    725    25      9,097
Nov. '06    671    34     52,202
Apr. '07    553    30      24,270
Sept. '07  685    27       4,849
Jan. '08    825    29       4,749
Mar. '08    751    30     16,026
Aug. '08    653    30       3,108
Oct. '08     819    28     10,046
Jan '09      547    31     13,000
May '09     645   25        6,478
Aug. '09    688   30      19,571
Nov. '09     641    27       9,598
Feb. '10     638    27       4,480
May '10      687      9    799,000 (CMV)
July '10      600     21      31,000
Nov '10      682     24     15,000
June '11     563    23     210,000 (blasto)
July  '11      530    22      39,000
Aug '11      677     22      21,000
Sept. '12    747     15      14,000

Offline Ann

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Re: Tested positive on 17th March 2010, got numbers, what now ?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2010, 04:22:09 AM »
Hi Star, welcome to the forums.

I agree that you don't need meds yet. You may not need them for quite some time. I've been poz for thirteen years and my numbers do not indicate the need for meds yet either. My number history is in my profile - and they've gone up and down over the years, but there has never been a clear downward trend.

Just make sure you get your labs done every two or three months. You don't need to treat your virus yet, but don't ignore it either!

Ann
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Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Tested positive on 17th March 2010, got numbers, what now ?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2010, 07:52:28 PM »
Do you know what the guidelines are in India for when to start medications? The reason I ask is because that is probably what doctors must go by when they prescribe the anti-retrovirals, especially if the medications are subsidized.

There are guidelines in the US and in Europe, which essentially say that if a person's CD4 count is 350 or less they should start for sure; if it is between 350-500 they should also start and if it's over 500 it's more of a personal choice.

As others have said, you're numbers for now are good. It's important to establish a trend and see how your numbers are doing after 3 or 4 tests taken several months apart.  Are you able to get your blood checked every 3 months or so?

You probably want to feel that you are doing something to fight this instead of just waiting for a change in your numbers. Make sure you eat well and take care of yourself, exercise, take your vitamins, etc and try and remain calm, reducing as much stress as you can. Things such as excess alcohol are not good but a drink once in a while is not a problem, don't be too hard on yourself.

I'm not sure what the quality of water is that you have access to, but it's probably a good idea to have water that is purified as opposed to regular tap water.

The important thing is that you have found out while you are still doing well so this allows you to stay on top of it and take action when the time comes, before you were to get sick.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 08:01:26 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline star_winking

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  • Posts: 2
Re: Tested Positive 03.17.10.. please advise
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2010, 04:08:52 AM »
thank you all Matty, Nestor, Ann and Inclingblue....
thank you all for the necessary guidance you all provided...this site feels like a support system..i surfed it and gained lots of important information...

since I got my numbers on end of march 2010, i think i can get my lab tests done again in start of june 2010...

I have started taking all the necessary steps to keep my health in good shape...i have started yoga, going to gym, sleep well and have good nutritious food...

i have started having vegetable juices daily....since it's in liquid form i think the nutrients get absorbed in body quickly...


i would still like to have more clarity or answers to my below questions....

2. What necessary steps should I take in order to increase my CD4 count and decrease my Viral load ?

3. How soon can I have my CD4 count to maximum level possible and how soon can I get the viral load to minimum or undetectable level ?


please do let me know any other things i should take care of or keep in mind.....

take care and god bless all.....


« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 04:43:03 AM by star_winking »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Tested Positive 03.17.10.. please advise
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2010, 06:24:00 AM »
thank you all Matty, Nestor, Ann and Inclingblue....
thank you all for the necessary guidance you all provided...this site feels like a support system..i surfed it and gained lots of important information...

since I got my numbers on end of march 2010, i think i can get my lab tests done again in start of june 2010...

I have started taking all the necessary steps to keep my health in good shape...i have started yoga, going to gym, sleep well and have good nutritious food...

i have started having vegetable juices daily....since it's in liquid form i think the nutrients get absorbed in body quickly...


i would still like to have more clarity or answers to my below questions....

2. What necessary steps should I take in order to increase my CD4 count and decrease my Viral load ?

3. How soon can I have my CD4 count to maximum level possible and how soon can I get the viral load to minimum or undetectable level ?


please do let me know any other things i should take care of or keep in mind.....

take care and god bless all.....


Hi Star,

The answer to your questions are quite simple. Only Highly Active Anti Retroviral Therapy (HAART) will suppress your viral load. These days there are a range of HAART combinations available which should bring your VL down to an undectectable level quite quickly.

You should discuss your medication options with your doctor.

Other than suppressing VL, there is nothing a person can do to "increase" their CD4 count. Once the virus is under control CD4 counts will correct themselves.

That said, your CD4 counts are very good for a person with HIV. Current treatment guidelines recommend commencing HAART when your absolute CD4 count is between 500 and 350. You might wish to start before then, that's a matter for you and your doctor.

MtD

Offline Nestor

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Re: Tested Positive 03.17.10.. want your thoughts/ advice.. thank you
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2010, 02:03:40 PM »

Star-

What MtD says is true: you already have good numbers.  As for improving them, alas, there is nothing (other than ARVs, of course) that works for everyone, although several things have worked for some people.  Bitter melon, garlic, shiitake and reishi mushrooms, and colostrum all have their adherents.  I myself eat rather a lot of those things, and since they clearly haven't hurt me, I figure I must be doing something right and I stick with them. 

However, I basically feel that staying as healthy as you can, as you are already doing, is the most important thing.  Taking huge amounts of any particular supplement might do more harm than good, since there are so many unkowns where these things are concerned.  I think that if you have a healthy life, your body should be able to fight against HIV on its own for an unknown number of years, possibly many.  When it cannot anymore, ARVs will be there for you. 

Good luck! 
Summer 2004--became HIV+
Dec. 2005--found out

Date          CD4    %       VL
Jan. '06    725    25      9,097
Nov. '06    671    34     52,202
Apr. '07    553    30      24,270
Sept. '07  685    27       4,849
Jan. '08    825    29       4,749
Mar. '08    751    30     16,026
Aug. '08    653    30       3,108
Oct. '08     819    28     10,046
Jan '09      547    31     13,000
May '09     645   25        6,478
Aug. '09    688   30      19,571
Nov. '09     641    27       9,598
Feb. '10     638    27       4,480
May '10      687      9    799,000 (CMV)
July '10      600     21      31,000
Nov '10      682     24     15,000
June '11     563    23     210,000 (blasto)
July  '11      530    22      39,000
Aug '11      677     22      21,000
Sept. '12    747     15      14,000

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Tested Positive 03.17.10.. want your thoughts/ advice.. thank you
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2010, 04:44:39 PM »
Star-
Bitter melon, garlic, shiitake and reishi mushrooms, and colostrum all have their adherents.  I myself eat rather a lot of those things, and since they clearly haven't hurt me, I figure I must be doing something right and I stick with them. 

This is specious reasoning. There is no proof that any of these things have any impact on immune function.

MtD

Offline Moffie65

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Re: Tested Positive 03.17.10.. want your thoughts/ advice.. thank you
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2010, 07:21:00 PM »
Hi Star.

Good advise from most here.....
Must caution you about the amount of pathogens in any home, and to keep things clean is a really good priority for you. 

You can drink only filtered water to keep yourself from injesting most germs, and make sure all your glassware in resturants are clean also, and don't get ice from any place, where you are unsure of the cleanliness of the kitchen.  When you eat fresh vegitables, make sure to clean them in a gallon of water with a tablespoon of bleach in the water.  Rinse with filtered water and you'll be able to eat just about anything you want.  Since you are dealing with a comprimised immune response; staying away from pathogens is probably the best thing you can do for now and cleaning the outside of fruit before you peel it is very important to keep the germs from contaminating the fruit with your hands.

I don't know if you are a vegitarian,  but if you are, you must intake a huge amount of protein, and the best of course is meat, but you can get enough with veggies, you just have to eat a whole lot more.  The protein keeps your muscles, bones, immune response and many other systems in your body working better, and restores the protein that the virus steals from your system.  It loves proteins, and we just have to stay ahead of that.  All in all, cleanliness, and eating good healthy food is truly the best medicine.   :)
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Offline Nestor

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Re: Tested Positive 03.17.10.. want your thoughts/ advice.. thank you
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2010, 07:16:24 PM »
This is specious reasoning. There is no proof that any of these things have any impact on immune function.

MtD

I never said there was proof.  Where's the specious reasoning? 
Summer 2004--became HIV+
Dec. 2005--found out

Date          CD4    %       VL
Jan. '06    725    25      9,097
Nov. '06    671    34     52,202
Apr. '07    553    30      24,270
Sept. '07  685    27       4,849
Jan. '08    825    29       4,749
Mar. '08    751    30     16,026
Aug. '08    653    30       3,108
Oct. '08     819    28     10,046
Jan '09      547    31     13,000
May '09     645   25        6,478
Aug. '09    688   30      19,571
Nov. '09     641    27       9,598
Feb. '10     638    27       4,480
May '10      687      9    799,000 (CMV)
July '10      600     21      31,000
Nov '10      682     24     15,000
June '11     563    23     210,000 (blasto)
July  '11      530    22      39,000
Aug '11      677     22      21,000
Sept. '12    747     15      14,000

 


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