Quantcast

Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
E-newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 02, 2014, 08:56:58 PM

Login with username, password and session length


Members
  • Total Members: 23378
  • Latest: Stevieb
Stats
  • Total Posts: 636937
  • Total Topics: 48347
  • Online Today: 304
  • Online Ever: 585
  • (January 07, 2014, 02:31:47 PM)
Users Online

Welcome


Welcome to the POZ/AIDSmeds Community Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people with HIV/AIDS, their friends/family/caregivers, and others concerned about HIV/AIDS.  Click on the links below to browse our various forums; scroll down for a glance at the most recent posts; or join in the conversation yourself by registering on the left side of this page.

Privacy Warning:  Please realize that these forums are open to all, and are fully searchable via Google and other search engines. If you are HIV positive and disclose this in our forums, then it is almost the same thing as telling the whole world (or at least the World Wide Web). If this concerns you, then do not use a username or avatar that are self-identifying in any way. We do not allow the deletion of anything you post in these forums, so think before you post.

  • The information shared in these forums, by moderators and members, is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between an individual and his/her own physician.

  • All members of these forums are, by default, not considered to be licensed medical providers. If otherwise, users must clearly define themselves as such.

  • Forums members must behave at all times with respect and honesty. Posting guidelines, including time-out and banning policies, have been established by the moderators of these forums. Click here for “Am I Infected?” posting guidelines. Click here for posting guidelines pertaining to all other POZ/AIDSmeds community forums.

  • We ask all forums members to provide references for health/medical/scientific information they provide, when it is not a personal experience being discussed. Please provide hyperlinks with full URLs or full citations of published works not available via the Internet. Additionally, all forums members must post information which are true and correct to their knowledge.

  • Product advertisement—including links; banners; editorial content; and clinical trial, study or survey participation—is strictly prohibited by forums members unless permission has been secured from POZ.

To change forums navigation language settings, click here (members only), Register now

Para cambiar sus preferencias de los foros en español, haz clic aquí (sólo miembros), Regístrate ahora

Finished Reading This? You can collapse this or any other box on this page by clicking the symbol in each box.

Author Topic: Understanding blood test results and trends  (Read 1545 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline forrest

  • Member
  • Posts: 162
Understanding blood test results and trends
« on: February 27, 2012, 08:47:15 PM »
Hi all,

I hope this is the appropriate forum to post this in.

I am wondering if someone can help me to understand the numbers from blood tests.  My doctor has explained it to me twice now and I am just not remembering/grasping it.  I understand the ranges and what VL, CD4, etc. mean. I am struggling with the whole trend...

I was expecting that if my CD4 went down, my VL would also go down.  However, my CD4 has remained pretty much the same but my VL keeps on going down.  And with the latest results today, didn't they also change logs?  Since I went from the 10,000 - 99,000 range to less than 10,000? 

While I consider myself intelligent... please feel free to dumb up your response for me!!   :P  Cuz, I'm just not getting it... and please be patient with me while I try to "get it"   ;D

You can see my latest numbers in my profile.  Just not trending the way I would expect so trying to understand  :)  Thanks as always!!!
2011-03-26:  Tested Positive

Date           |VL        |CD4 |4%  |CD8 |8%  |C4:C8
2011-04-06 |48,653 |603 |32.0 |646 |35.0 |0.61
2011-05-23 |64,324 |577 |36.0 |576 |36.0 |1.00
2011-08-02 |18,319 |574 |36.3 |587 |37.2 |0.98
2011-12-06 |10,375 |480 |30.1 |616 |38.7 |0.78
2012-02-22 |  9,674 |570 |33.6 |655 |38.7 |0.87
2012-05-04 |  8,439 |559 |30.4 |706 |38.4 |0.79

Online leatherman

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,154
  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Understanding blood test results and trends
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 09:24:44 PM »
after an initial rise in viral load (VL) after infection, the vl drops and levels out for quite some time. At some point in time, the VL will begin to rise. As the HIV utilizies and destroys the immune system, the cd4 count will begin to fall. (that's VL rising and CD4 falling, which is not what you stated).



some people are long term slow progressors, whose body is basically able to keep HIV in check for numerous year. Although it's too soon tell if that's your case, your viral load has been dropping (that's a trend) while your tcells have held steady (another trend because there are 3 or more result.). CD4s can change by 100 in a day, so 480-580 (even 603) is all basically the same. So you're numbers might not be trending the way you expected but they are trending in a good direction, so be glad about that. ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Offline spacebarsux

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,350
  • Survival of the Fittest
Re: Understanding blood test results and trends
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 02:22:56 AM »
Seems to me your body has got a fairly good handle on the virus. Your CD4 (absolute number as well as the percentage) are within normal range and your viral load seems to have reduced.

Here is some more information as to how viral load tests work:

Viral load tests multiply virus found in a small sample of blood many times so that it can be counted more easily. But this means that the individual results from any one test are not very accurate.

Viral load tests can have a 3-fold margin of error. So, if your viral load result is 30,000, the real result could be anywhere between 10,000 and 90,000 copies/mL.

•Viral load tests are described by the lowest level of HIV they can measure – or how sensitive the tests are. Different tests can measure different minimum levels of HIV.
•The main cut-off limit for viral load tests is less than 50 copies/mL. Some tests can measure lower levels (ie less than 5 copies/mL) but these are only used in research.
Using viral load and CD4 count to monitor HIV
Used together, CD4 counts and viral load results will tell a doctor 95% of what they need to know about the risk to your health from HIV and how well your treatment is working.

Viral load test results can be used together with CD4 counts to monitor HIV infection. As with CD4 counts, it is important to look at the trend of viral load over several tests to get a picture of whether there is any change.

•Never make any treatment decision based on the result of one test.
•When using HIV treatment, viral load is important, not CD4 count, because not getting viral load below 50 copies/mL will limit how long treatment will work.
Viral load tests are used in many countries but are difficult to get in others.


Link: http://i-base.info/ttfa/section-2/28-what-is-a-viral-load-test
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline forrest

  • Member
  • Posts: 162
Re: Understanding blood test results and trends
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 10:09:41 PM »
ThanksLeathermanandSpacebarsux!

I understand the overall blood tests... but at a couple of my doctor visits, my doctor explained exactly what was going on in regards to the replication of the HIV, etc. and how (why) the VL was actually going down while my CD4 wasn't going down much.  There was a reason for that where he drew it out (on the paper that is on the bed thingy in the room) but I just can't seem to grasp.  Like I said, I am sorry that this one is more difficult for me to grasp and again appreciate the patience.  I'm looking for more of the why the CD4 stays about the same but the viral load continues to go down and down. I'll be asking again next week at my appt (however, won't be with the one who has explained it to me before so fingers crossed  :-[

I'm not asking probably as clearly as I should be either.  That is another topic.  It seems like my brain just does not function well at all this past year. I have really been struggling with memory and comprehension - I do not know if it's HIV related or what but it's driving me crazy.  Anyway, that is a whole other topic I realize. 

Thanks again.
2011-03-26:  Tested Positive

Date           |VL        |CD4 |4%  |CD8 |8%  |C4:C8
2011-04-06 |48,653 |603 |32.0 |646 |35.0 |0.61
2011-05-23 |64,324 |577 |36.0 |576 |36.0 |1.00
2011-08-02 |18,319 |574 |36.3 |587 |37.2 |0.98
2011-12-06 |10,375 |480 |30.1 |616 |38.7 |0.78
2012-02-22 |  9,674 |570 |33.6 |655 |38.7 |0.87
2012-05-04 |  8,439 |559 |30.4 |706 |38.4 |0.79

Offline forrest

  • Member
  • Posts: 162
Re: Understanding blood test results and trends
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 11:06:34 PM »
Hmm. I just found this document on the Project Inform site.  I am going to read through it. Looks like it has a lot of information in it - all in one location.  Not sure if it will talk about the "trending" - but good info none-the-less  :)

www.projectinform.org/pdf/bloodwork.pdf

2011-03-26:  Tested Positive

Date           |VL        |CD4 |4%  |CD8 |8%  |C4:C8
2011-04-06 |48,653 |603 |32.0 |646 |35.0 |0.61
2011-05-23 |64,324 |577 |36.0 |576 |36.0 |1.00
2011-08-02 |18,319 |574 |36.3 |587 |37.2 |0.98
2011-12-06 |10,375 |480 |30.1 |616 |38.7 |0.78
2012-02-22 |  9,674 |570 |33.6 |655 |38.7 |0.87
2012-05-04 |  8,439 |559 |30.4 |706 |38.4 |0.79

Offline forrest

  • Member
  • Posts: 162
Re: Understanding blood test results and trends
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2012, 09:30:21 PM »
Thanks to Leatherman... I wanted to share some additional thoughts he gave me that may help others on understanding.  This particular explanation for some reason clicked with me so maybe it will help others as well:

HIV initially enters your system. Your body mounts an attack by raising the level of cd4 cells to attack the virus. The virus co-opts the cd4 cells making more virus, while killing off these extra cd4s. The body continues to fight back. (and this is why the western blot verifies a positive reaction to HIV antibodies and a person is declared "positive") So at first there is a serious rise in viral load.

After a while though, the HIV destroys enough of the cd4s that the HIV runs out of fuel so the viral load begins to fall until an unhappy balance is reached. The leveled-off situation can now continue for months or years - it all depends on a person's genetics, immune system, and how much the initial infection destroyed of a body's defenses. After some time, HIV begins to slowly replicate again. However, the antibody response is usually slow to react to this gradual act. Within a short amount of time HIV is able to overwhelm all of the body's defenses and begins to destroy the host (this is where an AIDS condition is reached). Eventually death follows.
2011-03-26:  Tested Positive

Date           |VL        |CD4 |4%  |CD8 |8%  |C4:C8
2011-04-06 |48,653 |603 |32.0 |646 |35.0 |0.61
2011-05-23 |64,324 |577 |36.0 |576 |36.0 |1.00
2011-08-02 |18,319 |574 |36.3 |587 |37.2 |0.98
2011-12-06 |10,375 |480 |30.1 |616 |38.7 |0.78
2012-02-22 |  9,674 |570 |33.6 |655 |38.7 |0.87
2012-05-04 |  8,439 |559 |30.4 |706 |38.4 |0.79

 


Terms of Membership for these forums
 

© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved.   terms of use and your privacy
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.