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Hello and some questions

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BlueSkies:
Hello all,
I was diagnosed in August and have been reading threads on here since then. This site and your threads have been a great source of information.  Thank you.  And thank you to the posters who are able to be funny even though this is a serious issue... the smiles are always appreciated.

It has been a roller coaster of emotions and thoughts since diagnosis, but seems to be evening out as time goes on.  Physically, I feel fine.  Any seroconversion sickness must have been mild.

I have some questions on my numbers below.  Have asked them to Doc, but curious what others around here have experienced.  Doc currently recommends holding off on treatment.  I have seen some posters on here with similar numbers who have waited and some who have started treatment.  Is there any harm in waiting?  Also, the VL number went up by 10x between 1st and 2nd/3rd tests.  The number still seems relatively low, but isn't a change that large significant? And I have read different stuff about the CD4%.  Some sources say it should be at around 30% and other sources say not to think too much about the % and focus on the CD4 count.  (My CD8 counts are very high at over 2200).

anmlvrnyc:
hello blueskies,
sorry about your diagnosis.
My doctor keeps an eye on CD4% and CD8 as well as CD4 and VL. I'm not on meds yet.
She pays more attention to the pattern of how the numbers change over time. My CD4% had been decreasing from 40% to 30% last year. My doctor was very concerned about the decreasing but then it went back up to 35% earlier this year. If

My CD8 was 594 when I was diagnosed. It has been about 800 ever since. My doctor had explained that if your immune system is always active fighting back the virus, your CD8 goes up. and it's not good for your body. She said sooner or later your immune system will slow down and the virus will take control of your body.

My VL has been from 65 to 200, which is not a lot of fluctuation. But regardless of the low VL if my CD4% continuously decreases and CD8 increases, I'm in trouble. That means my immune system is slowing down and I should start treatment right away.

My initial reaction to treatment was a no. but if my body can't fight the virus any more, i will need to start treatment.

One more concern i have for my case is that they couldn't perform geno type test because my vl was too low. so they can't tell me what meds i should take unless my vl significantly increases.

i have met a lot of people who were not on meds for years. they all started treatment at some point and they are all healthy.

i hope this helps with your questions a little. take a deep breath. it's not the end of the world.
take care.

tednlou2:
Your numbers are definitely not bad and not at a point where you need to make a quick decision.  It is clear you were infected less than year before your diagnosis.  You could have many more years of stable numbers.  Of course, you could progress more quickly.  If you're someone who wants to start meds right away, which is now becoming the expert recommendation, then you could do so.  If you need more time, like many of us, to process this and wait for a trend, your labs are not in an emergency situation by any means. 

Modified to add:  Welcome to the forums.  Keep in touch.  It is true that untreated virus can cause inflammation, as the immune system is working hard to fight the virus.  But, you may have been poz just a few months.  For all we know, you could see an improvement in your numbers.  Do you have any idea when you were infected?  Regardless, you know it's less than a year.  All the best.

Miss Philicia:

--- Quote from: BlueSkies on December 03, 2012, 01:12:55 PM ---Also, the VL number went up by 10x between 1st and 2nd/3rd tests.  The number still seems relatively low, but isn't a change that large significant?

--- End quote ---

1) the first number could be an outlier, you'll know more by a few more tests

2) it didn't actually increase by a multiple of 10, that's not how viral load is measured. Increases and decreases are measured in "logs" so the counting is more like 300 to 600 increase is only one log. 300 increasing to 1200 is two logs, etc. You're doctor really should have explained that to you to alleviate any anxiety.

3) your doctor is following standard treatment guidelines by recommending no treatment at this point.

BlueSkies:
Thanks for the info everyone.  I guess I was just surprised at the Doc's wait and see approach for now.   Seems when you read a lot of people's signatures on here, treatment can come pretty quickly after diagnosis.  But you're right, not everyone's.  tednlou2, you asked if I knew when I got infected.  I think at most 6 months before the diagnosis, but I don't know for sure.

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