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Tested positive one year ago, still scared

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Hey everyone, Terry here. I'm not one to talk about my diagnosis but have read your questions and answers and see that there is a lot of support and love out there.

When I tested positive I was very scared. When I finally got my blood done I was devastated. My CD4 was 8, VL >100,000, percentage 2%,

I was afraid to ask what this meant. I just did some reading and web surfing to find answers. I have realized that it may be a good thing to talk with some that are going through the same life changing event. I do have a most wonderful doctor that has explained and answered any questions that I have, but I still have this feeling that she is not telling me the bad parts.

I started meds October 19, 2005, (Norvir, Reyataz, Truvada)
December 2005 - Cd4 41, VL 74,000, 6 %
February 2006 - diagnosed with MAC - CD4 81, VL 17,260, 5%
July 2006 - CD4 74, VL undetectable, 4%

My question, does the CD4 and percentage usually jump up and down, and will it get to that magical 200.

Sorry to be long winded, I haven't even talked about everything that has happened in this last year, but will get into that when I finally start talking about this.


Yes, your CD4% can fluctuate, you have to be patient. Sometimes you'll feel like you will never reach the 200 mark you will. It takes time with as low as your CD4 was and complicated by MAC.

Hi Dragon, welcome to the forums.

Wow, it sounds like you were diagnosed in the nick of time! As Rodney says, it could take a while for your CD4s to reach 200, but it's important to keep in mind that you can remain healthy with fewer - many people do. You don't mention being on a drug like Bactrim - you should be taking something like that to stop you from getting things like PCP.

If you haven't already, please have a look at the Just Tested Poz Welcome Thread. There you will find out about all the other sections of this website, including the Lessons. The Lessons are great, they're written in plain language and easy to take in. You don't have to learn everything all at once and please feel free to ask any questions that may arise while you read.

I'm really glad you found us. You don't have to be alone with all this - there are many members here who have had numbers like yours and are still going strong.

Take care, and hang in there!


Joe K:
Hey Dragon,

Other than welcoming you here I thought you might need to meet someone like me.  I have been poz for 22 years and at one time I had so few T-cells that I actually named them.  I went for 8 years with counts below 200 but continued to work.  I've been through half or more of the meds, but I am still here because I know how to fight for my life, just like you are doing.

It is true that your numbers will take a while to rebound.  When I started my last combo my CD4s were around 180, but over the past 4 years my numbers have changed dramatically so that I now have 650 CD4s, 27% and VL undetectable.  My point is that if I can do it, then so can you.  Educate yourself about HIV and make sure you have a good doctor.

Taking care of yourself is not a spectator sport.  You must be involved in every facet of your care but do not let that scare you.  A little knowledge goes a long way, so as Ann suggested start reading the Lessons so you will know how to manage your own health.

The bottom line is you can live a very long life if you commit to taking care of yourself.  This is one time in life that it is fine to be selfish, because we are talking about your life.  So take a deep breath and then release it slowly and start to believe that your health will improve.  Educate yourself so that you can make that belief reality.

We are here when you need us, for whatever reason, because we have all been where you are going.  You do not have to do this alone and we are never any farther than the nearest computer.

Be well my friend.

Hello Terry, it is Eldon.

It is unfortunate that you have tested HIV positive. However, the good thing is that you DO now know of your health circumstance and you CAN DO something about it. Just as the others have said, it is a steady slow incline to get past that 200 mark. Please DO take your meds as your Doctor has prescribed them to you. Drink plenty of fluids, take a multi-vitamin, change your diet, get some exercise, and definitely make it your business to get your proper rest.

I wish to extend to you a warm WELCOME here to the forums. Here as you have seen, you will find communication, understanding, support, some cries, some laughter, and many of your questions answered relating to HIV/AIDS. We are all in this together and you are NOT alone. Please DO feel free to come to vent from time-to-time with whatever it is on your mind.

As Ann mentioned, there is a lot of information here for you at your disposal on this site. There are REAL people here that will listen as well as answer you.

Again, Welcome and make the BEST of each Day!


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