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ds4146:
I was hoping that perhaps someone could telling the meaning or significance of this

I was tested positive in February of this year and have had monthly tests in order to establish some type of pattern. Each result has shown a positive or negative in both CD4 and Viral Load. One month my CD is down along with the VL, up the next, etc., etc., currently my CD4 is down as well as the viral load. My doctor would like to start meds, but this is one of the questions I would like answered first, but neither of my two doctors will, or has an answer, and just adds to the many reasons I am resistant to starting.

Eldon:
Hello Ds, it is Eldon. When you have the chance, please read through this lesson: http://www.aidsmeds.com/lessons/WhenToStart1.htm. This should give you a better idea of what you are dealing with.

Matty the Damned:
Hi DS,

The trick to understanding your labs is to realising that it's all about trends over time. One single set of numbers is not terribly informative. Viral load test results and CD4 absolute counts (ie total number of CD4 cells per ml of blood) tend to fluctuate wildly, especially in the first year or so after infection. In fact absolute CD4 count can fluctuate during one day.

A better measure of your immune function in many cases is the CD4 %, which tends to vary much less than absolute counts and, over time, gives a much more reliable idea of what's happening.

As Eldon says take the time to read our lessons, especially the ones which explain how CD4 and VL tests work and what they mean.

Regards,

MtD

Ann:
ds,

Have you read through the Lessons here? You can learn about what your labs mean - including the CD4% and why it's often a better indicator. There are also several lessons centering around the starting meds question too.

The bottom line is that it is your body and your health and you should not be pressurised into taking any medication. You should make sure you understand all the implications and reasons for taking any medication and your doctor should be explaining these things to you and discussing it, not trying to order you around. 

Check out those lessons and feel free to ask more questions. It's the best way to learn and knowledge is most definitely power.

Ann

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