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Author Topic: New here Husband positive 10-12 yrs I'm negative..a few questions about his Cd4  (Read 2805 times)

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Offline ConcernedWife

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Hi everybody,

A little background on myself..I'm married to a wonderful man. He is positive. We found out about 9 years ago that he was infected from an ex girlfriend (maliciously on purpose, very sad). He found out after coming back to the USA from overseas where he worked for a few years. He had a throat ache and was very tired and went to the dr who ran bloodwork and diagnosed him as being positive. Back in 2003 when we found out his Cd4 was only 85 and viral load was around 100k I believe. Over the years he went from Sustiva, Truvada and a few medications to switching to Atripla. He has responded well to medication immediately, his viral load becoming undetectable within a month or two of being put on medication. He never skips a dose (maybe one or two in 9 years at the most by accident) . He has remained undetectable always, but his Cd4 has remained low..it went to 200, then crawled for years staying in the 300 range, then finally 8 years later it went up to close to 500, then November to 471, now in May it was 344, viral load still undetectable. That is a pretty big drop no? like 130 points. I try and not dwell on numbers, but I can't lie when I say I am worried. Hubby is a PITA to drag to the ID because he feels he's been fine for 8-9 years on medication and remained undetectable that going to the ID 2x per year is enough as long as he keeps taking the medicine daily. They would like to see him every 3-4 months.  I am very overprotective and I can't bear the thought of anything happening to him. We had the numbers going up ..crawling up I should say, for so long, then to see such a drastic drop is scary. Should I be concerned?

Thanks for the reassurance. Hubby is 38 years old. I adore him and we always have protected sex with a condom. We are very careful.

His last appointment was in the early morning..I wonder if that had something to do with it. He doesn't listen to me and usually only gets 6-7 hours of sleep. And he loves to drink Diet soda aka the dreaded aspartame. GRRR!!

I'd love some reassurance that his numbers will go back up, but if not, please tell me if I should suggest his doctor switch his medications or he get rechecked immediately again? We saw the dr in may and called and left messages for lab results and they never called back. I called today and got these results and was very mad that it took so long to get them. Apparently they had something wrong with their answering machine. Anyway, it's been 2 months. Should we get a recheck immediately? If his VL is undetectable is there no cause for concern even though we've never experienced a drop in numbers this high? The most he ever dropped while on meds was maybe 70 points.

Thanks all...

Concerned wife.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 02:57:43 PM by ConcernedWife »

Offline Matty the Damned

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  • Posts: 12,198
  • Ninja Please
Hi everybody,

A little background on myself..I'm married to a wonderful man. He is positive. We found out about 9 years ago that he was infected from an ex girlfriend (maliciously on purpose, very sad). He found out after coming back to the USA from overseas where he worked for a few years. He had a throat ache and was very tired and went to the dr who ran bloodwork and diagnosed him as being positive. Back in 2003 when we found out his Cd4 was only 85 and viral load was around 100k I believe. Over the years he went from Sustiva, Truvada and a few medications to switching to Atripla. He has responded well to medication immediately, his viral load becoming undetectable within a month or two of being put on medication. He never skips a dose (maybe one or two in 9 years at the most by accident) . He has remained undetectable always, but his Cd4 has remained low..it went to 200, then crawled for years staying in the 300 range, then finally 8 years later it went up to close to 500, then November to 471, now in May it was 344, viral load still undetectable. That is a pretty big drop no? like 130 points. I try and not dwell on numbers, but I can't lie when I say I am worried. Hubby is a PITA to drag to the ID because he feels he's been fine for 8-9 years on medication and remained undetectable that going to the ID 2x per year is enough as long as he keeps taking the medicine daily. They would like to see him every 3-4 months.  I am very overprotective and I can't bear the thought of anything happening to him. We had the numbers going up ..crawling up I should say, for so long, then to see such a drastic drop is scary. Should I be concerned?

Thanks for the reassurance. Hubby is 38 years old. I adore him and we always have protected sex with a condom. We are very careful.

His last appointment was in the early morning..I wonder if that had something to do with it. He doesn't listen to me and usually only gets 6-7 hours of sleep. And he loves to drink Diet soda aka the dreaded aspartame. GRRR!!

I'd love some reassurance that his numbers will go back up, but if not, please tell me if I should suggest his doctor switch his medications or he get rechecked immediately again? We saw the dr in may and called and left messages for lab results and they never called back. I called today and got these results and was very mad that it took so long to get them. Apparently they had something wrong with their answering machine. Anyway, it's been 2 months. Should we get a recheck immediately? If his VL is undetectable is there no cause for concern even though we've never experienced a drop in numbers this high? The most he ever dropped while on meds was maybe 70 points.

Thanks all...

Concerned wife.

So your husband has an undetectable VL and an absolute CD4 count of 344 as of May this year?

Sounds ok to me, all things considered.

Absolute CD4 counts tend to bounce around and the ranges you're talking about don't really seem that wild. Particularly since he's undetectable.

Do you know his CD4 percentage?

MtD

Offline ConcernedWife

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
I don't. I will have to ask. I was a little upset when I got his numbers today and probably freaked out the lab guy (who we've seen for years every time we go) because I started to cry on the phone. They said they would put a call in to my husband's doctor for a call back to me to talk. If he calls me back, I will ask the percentage. I don't know though. They said viral load was the thing to be concerned about not CD4. But we've never had a dip that low before. They asked me if he had a cold or wasn't feeling well that day..I asked my husband and he said he was fine.

Offline Matty the Damned

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,198
  • Ninja Please
I don't. I will have to ask. I was a little upset when I got his numbers today and probably freaked out the lab guy (who we've seen for years every time we go) because I started to cry on the phone. They said they would put a call in to my husband's doctor for a call back to me to talk. If he calls me back, I will ask the percentage. I don't know though. They said viral load was the thing to be concerned about not CD4. But we've never had a dip that low before. They asked me if he had a cold or wasn't feeling well that day..I asked my husband and he said he was fine.

The goal of HIV treatment is to suppress viral load. An undetectable VL is the best you can hope for.

From what I can tell you're husband's viral load is undetectable. For an HIV positive fella of 10+ years standing a CD4 count of 300+ is pretty good too.

I appreciate why you're worried, but all things considered, I think you're worrying without cause. This is as good as it gets.

Also, welcome to the Forums. :)

MtD

Offline Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 28,136
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
If your husband normally gets his labs done in the afternoon, the morning blood draw could be responsible. CD4s can fluctuate by as much as 100 points in a single day and the later in the day, the higher the number (generally).

You were correctly told that while on meds, the important number is the VL. He's undetectable so he's doing just fine. Trust.

Welcome to the forums.

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 Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 28,136
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Oops, and I just realised you posted this in the Living forum. I've moved it to the Someone I Care About forum, which is the more appropriate place for your thread. The Living forum is only for those of us who are actually  poz. :)
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 ConcernedWife

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Hi Ann--thank you for the welcome. My husband has gotten bloodwork in the afternoon, but he has also gotten it in the morning. however last time was very early in the AM so maybe that's partially to blame. I just didn't realize 130 points could fluctuate so easily when his numbers took SOOOOO long to get to close to 500. It was very unsettling. I will suggest an afternoon appointment next time to see where we stand. Thank you.

Offline Blue75

  • Member
  • Posts: 53
Thanks ConcernedWife! I'm in your boatI I tend to do what you do, stress! Thank you for post. My husband is 39, I'm 37, I'm neg. What I've reluctantly is,.to go with with the flow. Make sure he takes his meds; which obviosly, he's been doing. PM me, we are their spouses who love & care! We can support each other. Damn men! :)
Husband:
2/14/12 Tested HIV+
3/16/12: CD4-216, VL-56,500
5/4/12: Started Atripla
5/7/12: CD4-184, VL-12,000 (Taken off Atripla after 3 days, awaiting liver testing) Started antibiotics.

 


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