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Author Topic: Worried about CD4  (Read 3714 times)

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Offline uhoh68

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Worried about CD4
« on: April 09, 2011, 03:00:11 AM »

Hi there - a very good friend of mine has recently been tested positive for HIV.  His doc thinks he's had it for about 10 years - he is 60 years old.  He's had a CD4 baseline test and it came back as 18 :(  His viral load is high (but I don't know the numbers).  He started his drug treatment this week - again, I am not sure what combination they have started him on. 

I am concerned because every resource I've read indicated that a CD4 count of below 200 would mean a diagnosis of AIDS.  I did hear someone say though that AIDS is not used as a diagnosis and it is now called Advanced HIV, so apologies if I have got these terms wrong.  However, his doctor hasn't really explained the implications of these results.

I know it's impossible to tell me what the prognosis is based on the info I have given - but as all of this is very new to me and I want to understand as much as possible about the illness, can anyone give me any ideas about what to expect and possible timescales (all good news stories greatly appreciated!).

Thanks and love to all going through this.

Offline Ann

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Re: Worried about CD4
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2011, 07:51:17 AM »
Hi Uhoh, welcome to the forums.

Technically, a CD4 count of 18 is an aids diagnosis, but don't let that frighten you. You do not say what your friend's overall health is like, but from what you've written it does not sound as though he's been ill.

We have many members here who were diagnosed and started meds with numbers like your friend's - some of them very ill at the time - and many, if not most, are doing very well now. If it is true that your friend was not diagnosed as a result of being in hospital with something like pneumonia, then you can expect very good results and probably fairly quickly.

You should read through the Lessons section of this website. There's a lot of very good information in there and it's written in plain, easy to understand English. You may want to direct your friend to the Lessons too. Feel free to come back here to ask any questions that may arise during your reading.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline uhoh68

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Re: Worried about CD4
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2011, 08:12:43 AM »

Hi Ann - thanks for your response.

He's been in poor health for about 6 months or so and has lost about 80lbs.  He's had many of the side effects such as poor sleep, diarrhoea, candida (in his mouth) and anaemia.  His weight loss seems to have slowed and is now in a healthy weight range for his height - he was overweight before.  He managed to fight off a virus last year, but it took him a long time to get over it but the good news is that the doc said how well he currently looks.

Thanks for pointing me to the forums - will go and read up some more :)

Offline Ann

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Re: Worried about CD4
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2011, 08:44:01 AM »
Uhoh, you're welcome.

None of the things he's been suffering from are immediately life-threatening (like PCP pneumonia can be) but it's good that he was diagnosed before things did get really serious. He has an excellent chance of recovering quickly from the problems he has been having.

I'm glad he has a supportive friend by his side. The first few months following diagnosis are usually a roller-coaster of emotions and it can be quite lonely. Thank you for being there for him.

And remember, if you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Worried about CD4
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2011, 01:09:21 AM »
I went through all of this almost word for word.  2 years later I'm extremely healthy despite a continuing low CD4 count, albeit I have gotten back up to triple digits again.

Offline littleprince

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Re: Worried about CD4
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2011, 12:21:59 AM »
I too was in a similar situation 10 months ago. Actually, I was a little worse because I had an infection, PCP. Today I feel great. Actually, I havenít felt this good for over 2 years.

Now that he has started on treatment you will be amazed at how quickly he starts to feel better. But it will be a bumpy road for the next year or more.  Heíll be on drugs to stop any major infections but there are all sorts of little things that affect you when your immune system is down. Things like tiredness, skin fungal and bacterial infections. Itís just a matter of treating them when they occur and letting the body heal.

 


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