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Author Topic: How often should someone who is stable have lab work?  (Read 2653 times)

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Offline keven

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  • Posts: 9
How often should someone who is stable have lab work?
« on: June 05, 2012, 12:38:44 PM »
Lab work and Dr. visits are expensive.

I read an article with a study showing that the life expectancy of those on meds who do not have quarterly lab work is the same as those who do have regular lab work.  I have been stable with no side effects or abnormal lab test results for six years.

I am wondering if it is necessary to have quarterly labs and especially for someone who is stable.  I asked my Dr. and he said I should have labs done quarterly, and no less than every 4 months.  I am beginning to wonder if those Dr.s  whose practices centers around HIV care recommend the every three month lab work to keep me coming in four times each year. 

Does anyone have any guidance as to what the frequency of lab and Dr. visits should be and what tests should be performed and how often.

The tests he performs each quarter include:

PSA, sex hormone binding, thyroid stimulating hormone, urine analysis, peripheral blood smear, CBC, T cells total and ratio, viral load, basic metabolic panel, lipid panel, folic acid, hepatic function panel, creatine, urine protein, insulini, hemoglobin, estradiol, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, quantification of drug, mass spectrometry,  chromatography.

Offline eric48

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Offline buginme2

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Re: How often should someone who is stable have lab work?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2012, 08:04:06 PM »
I'm sure it depends on what your doctor is comfortable with, your history, your results.

I see an HIV specialist and he reduced my visits to every 6 months once my labs were normal and undetectable. 


Offline OneTampa

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Re: How often should someone who is stable have lab work?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 09:10:47 PM »
I'm sure it depends on what your doctor is comfortable with, your history, your results.

I see an HIV specialist and he reduced my visits to every 6 months once my labs were normal and undetectable.

Same in my situation.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline emeraldize

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  • Posts: 3,334
Re: How often should someone who is stable have lab work?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2012, 07:37:15 AM »
Lab work and Dr. visits are expensive.

I read an article with a study showing that the life expectancy of those on meds who do not have quarterly lab work is the same as those who do have regular lab work.  I have been stable with no side effects or abnormal lab test results for six years.

Can you post a link or the journal in which this article appears?
Thank you!
Em

Offline mecch

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Re: How often should someone who is stable have lab work?
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2012, 07:58:14 AM »
Kevin, I don't understand your doctor's response.  It seems visits can be reduced.  Maybe you should put it to him point blank, telling him you can't afford the 4x a year visits and isn't there a compromise to go foward as doctor and patient.  If he/she can't respond to that human need (budget!), not the greatest doctor, IMO.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline rhythmtech

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Re: How often should someone who is stable have lab work?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2012, 09:10:43 AM »
I've been stable for a long time. My doctor does labs every visit and fortunately, They are done on the same day. In the interest of saving you expense, this may work for your doctor . They get the results about 10 days after the office visit but if everything is normal, it works out fine.
Jimmy

Offline kamaleigh

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  • Posts: 1
Re: How often should someone who is stable have lab work?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2012, 12:05:11 AM »
Diagnosed + in '05...for the first few years, I had quarterly lab work.  It took my doctor and I a while to find meds that agreed with me...after a year of being stable, I had labs 3x/year.  After that, and presently, I do labs 2x/year.  I have a full blood workup, including CBC/CD4/viral load/and a whole slew of other things done once per year, and 6 months later, I just have my CD4/viral load ran. 

Everyone's situation is different of course...if your doctor has a good reason for making you go 4x/year, that's one thing...but if they're doing it "just to be safe," it's probably a bit overkill.  If you go to a clinic that has other HIV doctors, you may want to schedule your next appointment with one of them in order to seek a second opinion.

Offline mikeyb39

  • Member
  • Posts: 921
Re: How often should someone who is stable have lab work?
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2012, 09:29:23 AM »
my doc tells me every six months at this point
11/02/2010  cd4-251, vl-591000
12/09/2010  started Atripla
02/18/2011  cd4-425, vl-800
06/10/2011  cd4-447, vl-70
10/10/2011  cd4-666, vl-80
01/05/2012  swiched med (prezista,norvir ,isentress, )
02/10/2012  cd4-733, vl-UD  Viread removed
06/10/2012  cd4-614, vl-UD
12/14/2012  cd4-764, vl-UD
09/01/2013  cd4-785, vl-UD
03/06/2014. cd4- 1078, VL-UD

 


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