Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Questions About Treatment & Side Effects

my bf is a very fast progressor

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My bf tested poz in mid-November 2006, 2 weeks after I did. He was neg as of April 2006 (I have a copy of the written test).
His first labs in late november were : CD4 400, VL 3500 .
His newest lab as of late january are : CD4 250, VL 20,000 .

He was supposed to get his results last friday and I was going to come along, but his doc called him early on wednesday to get the results, so I didn't get a chance to come. The doc ordered a genotype test because he wants my bf on meds ASAP.  My bf told me his doc really doesn't know why he is progressing so fast, but doesn't want to take the chance and thus wants him to start meds ASAP.

Other than his bad labs, my bf feels quite healthy. The only thing that's unusual is white stuff in his mouth, that might be oral candidasis according to the books I read, but I don't think he had mentioned it to his doc. My bf eats well, doesn't do drugs, not even alcohol, swims one hour every day, is only 28, and still goes to work ... Yet with the low tcell count and if the oral candidasis is confirmed, he is close to meeting the clinical definition for AIDS already (tcell at 200 with one AIDS-definition infection) :-( ...

I'm really bummed about this. I thought the average time from HIV infection to AIDS without medication was about 10 years. We know his infection happened last year. It's only been 9 months since his last HIV-negative test, and he is very close to AIDS now. How common is this ? What could the explanation be ? The only thing I can think of is something hereditary - his body isn't able to fight the virus.

I believe I was the one who infected him and my timing was similar - negative antibody test in june, and positive in late october. But my labs are much better - I just got my 3rd labs, and got my highest CD4 yet at 788, CD4 40% and VL stable at 2437.
I'm 30, I don't exercise at all, I'm depressed and unable to go to work for 3 weeks. The only thing I changed since the last labs was start on a multi-vitamin and drink a little bit less frequently. If results were related to our respective efforts it seems our labs should be reversed.

Hello Madbrain, 

If your BF goes on meds he should do quite well.  It also may be too soon to tell if his T cells will come back up on their own.  I went to 100 T cells within one year of infection, started meds, and am now in the normal range.  I think (feel in my gut) that since the damage to my imune system was so fast and relatively short that it wasn't the same as if the damage had been long and slow.  I take Atripla and T cells are around 500, VL undetectable.  I should do as well as anyone who has never gotten the AIDS diagnosis.  This is all new for you both, so I hope that you're doing alright emotionally. 


brother joe

Hi Mad, and welcome to the forums.

It is entirely possible that your boyfriend's body is still adjusting to the virus. You really can't tell much from just two sets of results. You also don't list his CD4 percent - it would be helpful to know. When is the soonest he can have his labs done again? He has a chance of having them be much better.

If your boyfriend isn't complaining about pain in his mouth, chances are good that the white stuff isn't oral thrush. It's usually painful. Make sure he gets it checked out.


I'm so sorry to hear about you and your bfs diagnosis. I know how scary and awful it is.

I was also a somewhat fast progressor too. I had to go on meds after only a year and a half of being infected. I also rarely drink, never do drugs and have a pretty healthy lifestyle. I'm only 34 so I was wrecked that i had to start meds so soon. I've been in group therapy a couple of times and there are lots of guys in their 20s/30s who've had to start meds early so he's not alone. Everyone's body reacts differently to the virus. I know when i got infected but i didn't get an HIV test for about 5 months.

I would recommend that he start meds asap as well. the more reseach I've been doing seems like the docs are saying to "start early" again. you might consider it too. My tcells were up in the 500s but they were on their way up. If i got blood drawn months earlier they could have been in the 200 range as well. who knows. also like Ann said, his body might be adjusting to the virus and his tcells might go up. But I say, why chance it and risk and AIDS diagnoses that would just depress you guys and possibly risk him getting sick.

Hey Mad,

I don't have any terrific advice for ya.  All I can say is I've been dealing with this for about a year and nothing I've done has helped out my counts.   Now I don't feel as guilty for not having been more active.

I don't feel as bad now after reading your post.  We all tend to get tied up in the numbers game and I guess the great thing here is that he isn't sick. 

Some people naturally have lower CD4 counts.   I believe the normal range is 400-1600 w/out HIV.   It does seem odd that his would be that low so early on from info you have provided, but like Ann said could be his system is adjusting.   

I wish ya guys all the best.



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