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Author Topic: Odd Numbers? Need advice again.  (Read 2500 times)

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Offline Morton Salt

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  • Posts: 98
Odd Numbers? Need advice again.
« on: June 15, 2006, 09:48:57 PM »
Ok, so i have had 4 sets of test done now. I was diagnosed on Feb 19 2006.  Could not have been infected in the last 4 years. That would be impossible.  Anyway, all i have read on how numbers work, reading mine dont make much sense in the fact the my viral load is low and my cd4 count is low.  I am only on bactrim at the moment, and i have never ever been sick other than a common cold.  i have read somewhere that the actual normal range of cd4s for people are between 200-300, NOT THE UP TO 11OO as i have read everywhere else. Im just trying to find out all i can regarding these numbers and i read alot of conflicting reports.  currently i have low cd4 and low viral load.  Why would that be?  With a low cd4 count, shouldnt i have a high viral load?  Whats the deal with my hiv?  Here are my test numbers and dates, what the hells goin on here??????.....lol


2-20-06  CD4-163  VL 464  13.5%
2-28-06  CD4-241  VL 581  14.3%
3-30-06  CD4-189  VL N/A  13.8%
6-13-06  CD4-153  VL 835  11.2%
NO MEDS YET AND FEEL AS HEALTHY AND STRONG AS EVER.

I HAVE YET COME ACROSS NUMBERS LIKE THIS.     Shouldnt the VL be higher with a low cd4 count?   
~Morton

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Odd Numbers? Need advice again.
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2006, 10:29:16 PM »
i have read somewhere that the actual normal range of cd4s for people are between 200-300, NOT THE UP TO 11OO as i have read everywhere else. Im just trying to find out all i can regarding these numbers and i read alot of conflicting reports. 

hi morton -Ive heard some hiv negative people can have 900 cd4 cells or even waaay more than that. i hope hivworker joins this thread

if I ever rise above 500 I will do all I can to not slip below

Sorry I can't be of much help

Offline HIVworker

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  • HIV researcher
Re: Odd Numbers? Need advice again.
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2006, 11:03:33 PM »
While a low viral load is a good thing, it doesn't follow that the CD4 count will always be high. Normal CD4 counts are between 800-1200, not 200. It depends on how long you have been infected. There is a steady decline in CD4 levels so if you have had HIV for a while the CD4 count can be low - although I am a bit confused as to why the level is so low with such well controlled viral loads. I would definitely talk that one over with your infectious disease doctor, however it does depend on many factors.

R
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline Morton Salt

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  • Posts: 98
Re: Odd Numbers? Need advice again.
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2006, 11:15:37 PM »
I have discussed it with my doctor.  They have no idea.  Im going to make an appointment with an eastern doctor just to get there take on it.  I really would like to know hy my numbers are the way they are.... 
Thanks for your input.
~morton

Offline HIVworker

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  • Posts: 918
  • HIV researcher
Re: Odd Numbers? Need advice again.
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2006, 11:19:08 PM »
Just food for thought, do you know which HIV you have? It could be possible that you have one that isn't well recognized in the viral load test they are doing. Have they tried another test? Regardless of that, you should ask your doctor about the CD4 count as that has more significance for disease progression.

R
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline lydgate

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  • Virgin, can't drive
Re: Odd Numbers? Need advice again.
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2006, 11:37:31 PM »
Also consider posting to the "Understanding Your Labs" forum on www.thebody.com. Dr. Mark Holodniy, terse and helpful. There are several posts about people with low cd4, low vl. I just posted another, asking for some general explanation of this rare (or odd) phenomenon.

lydgate
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: Odd Numbers? Need advice again.
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2006, 03:36:09 AM »
I have never been told that 200 is a normal range for cd-4's. After 22 years and 7 DR's I have always understood that normal range for cd-4's to be 800-1200 for non hiv people. Maybe, you were told that 200 is normal for hiv people? Just guessing here. Since 1984, my cd-4's have ranged from 50-450. My viral load has always been in the 10,000 range until last year at this time, when it went to ZERO. FYI...The doc has never told me that there is any correlation between the two. I have learned not to worry about numbers. That  alone can give you a nervous breakdown!  Good luck with everything!
Positive since 1985

Offline cubbybear

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  • Posts: 510
  • Joined August 2005.
Re: Odd Numbers? Need advice again.
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2006, 06:09:32 AM »
Hey Morton, I am more worried about why you are not yet on meds.  I am sure you are aware, but with a CD4 count below 200 you really are at an increased risk of many opportunistic infections, some which are life threatening.  And your % is already in the red zone, it's so hard to bump that % up... 

I too felt great/fit/well when unknowingly my CD4 counts were under 200 until I got sick from PCP and some other nasties and my resultant CD4 count being 35!  Personally if I were you (which I am not) I would go on meds as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your immune system.  The lower you drop, the harder and slower it can be to rebuild your immune system, and you are a sitting duck for nasties like MAC, PCP and CMV to name a few.  I don't mean to lecture you, I'm not, I'm just concerned about your low numbers and no meds.  If I had known about my own low numbers, I would have gone on meds much sooner, and not become sick.

Please don't wait until you get sick, eventually it will happen.
Good luck with it all.
Cheers
Matt
« Last Edit: June 16, 2006, 06:13:13 AM by cubbybear »
There's a bear in there!
Positive since 2000
Diagnosed 17/9/2005 CD4 35 VL 293,000
Meds 23/9/2005 Sustiva/Truvada
Currently CD4 232 VL Undetectable

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Odd Numbers? Need advice again.
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2006, 06:22:34 AM »
Morton,

200 is most assuredly not a normal CD4 absolute count. Add to that your low CD4% and I have to agree with Matt that you and your doctor should be considering anti-retroviral therapy and possibly some prophylactic medications like Bactrim to prevent PCP and other opportunistic infections.

Another excellent point that Matt makes is that just because you feel healthy at the moment doesn't mean that you are. Your blood test results indicate that you've got sustained pretty heavy immune system damage and that getting seriously ill is only a matter of time.

Of course taking HAART is ultimately a matter for you, but it's something that you need to consider very seriously if you wish to remain feeling as well as you do.

Regards,

MtD

Offline Morton Salt

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  • Posts: 98
Re: Odd Numbers? Need advice again.
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2006, 02:16:01 PM »
tHANK  FOR YOUR INPUT.  I am on bactrim at the moment.   I guess what is stopping me from taking meds at this point is that i have read that you can hang on to a low count like mine for 10-15 years before taking meds.  Granted, it could go the other way, it stops me in my tracks from just hopping on the meds train.  Im am not a n aids denialist in anyway, i just read alot with many different views about this disease and it has me asking myself, who do i think is right?  who do i trust?  and what does my gut instinct tell me?  At the moment i dont have answers to any of those.  Thats why i am not on meds yet.
     MORT

Offline Matty the Damned

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  • Ninja Please
Re: Odd Numbers? Need advice again.
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2006, 05:36:46 PM »
tHANK  FOR YOUR INPUT.  I am on bactrim at the moment.   I guess what is stopping me from taking meds at this point is that i have read that you can hang on to a low count like mine for 10-15 years before taking meds.  Granted, it could go the other way, it stops me in my tracks from just hopping on the meds train.  Im am not a n aids denialist in anyway, i just read alot with many different views about this disease and it has me asking myself, who do i think is right?  who do i trust?  and what does my gut instinct tell me?  At the moment i dont have answers to any of those.  Thats why i am not on meds yet.
     MORT

Yup it could go the other way Mort, but years of bitter experience tell us that it almost certainly won't. Matt made another important point too; that is rebuilding the immune system once your CD4% drop below a certain level is really, really tough.

Like I said, HAART is ultimately a matter for you. Who you trust and whether or not you go with your gut instinct is similarly a matter for you. These are hard decisions for all of us to make and for what it's worth, remember: you ain't alone babe.

Regards,

MtD

Offline lydgate

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  • Posts: 1,022
  • Virgin, can't drive
Re: Odd Numbers? Need advice again.
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2006, 08:48:24 PM »
Agreeing with Matty and cubbybear, I'm kinda worried about the no-meds-yet part. Except for your second set of numbers, the other three all meet the CDC and WHO criteria for AIDS (that is, not "only" HIV-disease or infection) -- CD4 count below 200 or CD4 percentage below 14%. And that usually, almost certainly in fact, means that docs would strongly suggest a med regimen right away. So, yep, I think you should get the opinion of an HIV specialist you trust pretty soon.

lydgate
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline lydgate

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  • Posts: 1,022
  • Virgin, can't drive
Re: Odd Numbers? Need advice again.
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2006, 03:25:20 PM »
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

 


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