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Author Topic: Quarterly Blood Work  (Read 704 times)

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Offline kentfrat1783

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  • Posts: 59
Quarterly Blood Work
« on: September 07, 2017, 06:04:36 PM »
Hi All,

Well I finally went and did my quarterly blood work today.  I'm going to consistently do the blood work in the morning as I've heard that it can very from different parts of the day.  I want consistent results.

I had guessed they were going to take 7 viles of blood but ended up being 8 (not a bad guess).  And from what I've counted so far they are doing 47 different tests and I think a few are being sent out so not sure how many more that will add to the list. 

All I can say is I am thankful that I have insurance but I still worry about those that don't have it or those that can't afford their deductibles/co-insurance.  I know there are programs to help but the cost is big.

But onto the actual question, is getting 50's tests/results done every 3 months normal or is this just due to me being recently Dx'd?  I am taking Atripla and I know the ID doctor is also making sure my liver/kidney counts are still decent. 

In the end I will know way more then I ever wanted to know about blood work and results. 

It'll be interesting to see the results as they come in.

Kenneth
09/07/2017 - CD4 42 (6%)     VL  54        (1.70)
05/11/2017 - CD4 2   (1%)     VL 169,969 (5.23)
Dx`d May 11, 2017
Location: USA

Offline Ptrk3

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Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 07:41:07 PM »
Once you are undetectable and your CD4's improve, your blood tests typically will occur every six months.

Since you were diagnosed with PCP, CD4's of two, and a six figure viral load, your healthcare provider will order tests every three months in order to assure that your Atripla regimen is working, so, yes, given your circumstances it is normal that you are so tested (at this time).
HIV 101 - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline pittman

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  • Posts: 281
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 09:23:43 PM »
Yeah, as your numbers get better generally fewer visits per year are needed, and fewer tests.

If you are just starting meds, I wonder why Atripla? It's not "bad" at all, I was on it for years, but I understand that most first line treatments are moving to combos with a version of Tenofovir that is easier on the kidneys.   Next time you speak to your HIV specialist you may want to discuss that and see what they think.

If copays and out of pocket expenses are a factor, make sure to look into assistance  programs from the drug manufacturers. When I switched from Atripla to Triumeq I was able to go online and fill out a quick form that covers all of that for me.

Atripla has one too, though last time I looked there were also income restrictions for it. 

At least for my current copay assist program, it even counts towards my over all deductible and max out of pocket limit.

Offline Tonny2

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  • Posts: 1,805
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2017, 09:32:15 PM »


          ojo        Hello there...Good luck with the vampire's results and yes, just because you are a newbie and started treatment, plus having so low cd4s, the doctor ordered so many test...as you get stable, your visits to "Dracula" will be less frecuent...If you live in the USA, why is your doctor giving you atripla?, there are newest combos.

Please take care of what you eat and where you eat, having a very low tcell put you a risk for OIs. Keep an eye on your eyes, if you see floaters, let your doctor know about it asap...wishing you the best and please keep us posted...hugs

Offline 2tcells

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  • Posts: 246
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2017, 11:29:01 PM »
hey my cd4 twin! I had 2 when I started also im past 300 now but havnt updated my thing below.i still get my bloodwork done every 3 months, when I started they did it every month. were u in the hospital? how long did they guess you had it before dx? about 2-4 weeks after I started meds I havnt been sick once except shingles, ask if you should get the vaccine and get pneumonia vac and flu (not live virus)
7-4-13 diagnosed   cd4- 2      vl-220,600
8-3-13                     cd4- 4      vl- 448
9-3-13                     cd4- 40    vl- ud
11-3-13                   cd4- 54    vl-ud
1-9-14                     cd4- 62    vl- 43
4-3-14                     cd4- 110  vl-ud
8-5-14                     cd4- 95    vl-ud
9-23-14                   cd4- 97    vl-ud
1-22-15                   cd4- 156  vl-ud
4-14-15                   cd4- 122  vl-ud
6-12-15                   cd4- 148  vl-?
8-15-15 start stribild
9-3-15                     cd4- 152 vl-ud
11-25-15                  cd4- 211 vl-20
2-17-16                   cd-4 194 vl-ud
4-1-16 start genvoya
5-10-16                   cd-4 220 vl-ud
9-19-16                   cd-4 182 vl-ud
12-2016                  cd-4  267!vl-ud

Offline kentfrat1783

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  • Posts: 59
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2017, 07:58:35 AM »
Hey Twin,

How are you doing today?  Hope well. 

Well the start of this year all I wanted to to was go to bed earlier and earlier every night.  I thought it was from working 12-14 hour days but wasn't totally over that.  Then the start of April I was having breathing issues, extreme night sweats and feeling lousy so went to my Dr (ended up being 4 times that month).  They were running blood work and couldn't figure out what was going on.  I then went to the ER and they said I have pneumonia and gave me a Rx and had me leave.  Well a week later I had a followup with my doctor from the ER visit and I could still barely breath so they wheeled me to the ER.  At this point the ER doctor immediately admitted me even before seeing me.  In the end turned out I had PCP, slightly weak heat and liver issues (and a few other things). 

The ID doctor had a hunch I was positive and had PCP.  Well he done blood work and his hunch was confirmed.  I was in the hospital for 7 days and started on Atripla probably about a month after I got out of the hospital.  Just the fun of the ID doctor followup and getting the Rx mailed to me. 

I have felt OK since starting the medication but my ID doctor has be on restrictions like not being in large groups, not being around kids 5 and under and on a neutropenic diet.  I do my best at following those restrictions but not eating fresh like I was doing prior is hard.  Just not sure when they will be lifted.

They think I have been infected for a good 5-6 years but had an HIV test 6 years ago (almost to the day) for a life insurance policy and I was negative then.  And since then my sex life hasn't been elaborate so not sure when it happened but it happened. If I was only recently infected I really got hit hard and my system just stinks. 

I have an appointment on the  26th of this month and I have a list of vaccine's to ask if I should get them.  What is funny if I schedule the flu shots at work each year but going to get it in the doctors office just so there is a clear record of it and do the other ones as well.

It is awesome the your CD4 count is above 300 now.  I am sure you are happy for that but from what I seen it does take a while.  Any potential advice on what helped or didn't help you?

Thanks,
Kenneth
09/07/2017 - CD4 42 (6%)     VL  54        (1.70)
05/11/2017 - CD4 2   (1%)     VL 169,969 (5.23)
Dx`d May 11, 2017
Location: USA

Offline wardp

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  • Posts: 27
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2017, 08:25:23 AM »
Hope all goes well for you, I shall also be asking about a shingles vaccine at my next doctors visit, I am having lab work on Monday, lipids , creatine blood sugar, liver, CBC, urine, 5 weeks on atripla , will be happy to share results, paul
Diagnosed 20,July 2017. Cd4 289, 21% vld 3000. Started atripla 4 Aug 2017.

Offline kentfrat1783

  • Member
  • Posts: 59
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2017, 08:37:04 AM »
Hi Paul,

Hope all is going well since you are taking Atripla.  The first month was OK for me but the second month is when I had the most weird dreams.  They settled down after that. Also hope your blood work goes well. 

I just wish there was an easy fact sheet to explain all of the tests.  I know you can Google them but some seem like they are tested multiple times but just a different way of getting a result back.  Maybe it would be a good idea to take a medical lab course or two. 

Wishing you the best.

Kenneth
09/07/2017 - CD4 42 (6%)     VL  54        (1.70)
05/11/2017 - CD4 2   (1%)     VL 169,969 (5.23)
Dx`d May 11, 2017
Location: USA

Offline 2tcells

  • Member
  • Posts: 246
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2017, 04:52:44 PM »
I didn't have any restrictions about diet or large groups of people or anything. but I was kinda freaked out about my low numbers and at first would have hand sanitizer and a face mask until I went to the dr and he said there was no need to use a mask or be that worried about it. but its a good idea to wash your hands to keep germs away just like anyone else. I took Bactrim and fluconazole for awhile with my meds to keep the pcp away. I had the pcp, thrush, rashy skin, cough, hurting lungs, fatigue, weight loss and all when I found out too and stayed in the hospital for a week. just take your meds and you will be fine. 
7-4-13 diagnosed   cd4- 2      vl-220,600
8-3-13                     cd4- 4      vl- 448
9-3-13                     cd4- 40    vl- ud
11-3-13                   cd4- 54    vl-ud
1-9-14                     cd4- 62    vl- 43
4-3-14                     cd4- 110  vl-ud
8-5-14                     cd4- 95    vl-ud
9-23-14                   cd4- 97    vl-ud
1-22-15                   cd4- 156  vl-ud
4-14-15                   cd4- 122  vl-ud
6-12-15                   cd4- 148  vl-?
8-15-15 start stribild
9-3-15                     cd4- 152 vl-ud
11-25-15                  cd4- 211 vl-20
2-17-16                   cd-4 194 vl-ud
4-1-16 start genvoya
5-10-16                   cd-4 220 vl-ud
9-19-16                   cd-4 182 vl-ud
12-2016                  cd-4  267!vl-ud

Offline kentfrat1783

  • Member
  • Posts: 59
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2017, 05:20:26 PM »
I never used a face mask but I do wash my hands a lot and use hand sanitizer often and even after someone shakes my hand.  I work in HR so I have to be polite but so far no one blinks an eye when I go right for the bottle of sanitizer. 

I'm also on Bactrim and Zythromax (sp?), allergy medication and a multivitim and have been doing much better then I was prior.  BTW sounds like our conditions prior to going into the hospital were very similar. 
09/07/2017 - CD4 42 (6%)     VL  54        (1.70)
05/11/2017 - CD4 2   (1%)     VL 169,969 (5.23)
Dx`d May 11, 2017
Location: USA

Offline kentfrat1783

  • Member
  • Posts: 59
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2017, 05:52:36 PM »
Hi All,

Well I've been reviewing over my labs as they have came in and a of the numbers are getting back to where they should be.  Some numbers are still way off but better then they were.

I did get my updated CD4 count and it's 42 (6%).  Still not where I wanted it to be but can't expect everything.

Not sure of my viral load yet as that's the one number I can't figure out by my results. 

Thanks for putting up with me. 

Kenneth
09/07/2017 - CD4 42 (6%)     VL  54        (1.70)
05/11/2017 - CD4 2   (1%)     VL 169,969 (5.23)
Dx`d May 11, 2017
Location: USA

Offline Ptrk3

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  • Posts: 1,939
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2017, 06:04:50 PM »
Your Viral Load numbers on a lab report should look something like this (if you are undetectable):

HIV RNA QUANTITATIVE   
HIV PRC QUANT   NOT DETECTED copies/mL   
Range: NOTD
LOG 10 HIV   NOT DETECTED copies/mL   
Range: NOTD
Comments: No HIV 1 RNA was detected in this specimen. The lower limit of detection of this assay is about 40 HIV RNA copies per mL. A negative result does not rule out the possibility of a viral load below the detection limit of the assay.

This result is a quantitative estimate of HIV 1 RNA copies per mL of plasma, determined by a PCR based method. Assay performed using the Abbott RealTime HIV 1 assay.

******
As long as your CD4 count is improving (and the percentage), which it is (an absolute count improvement from 2 to 42), you are doing well, since it means that your Atripla is working.  Remember, your short term goal is to attain an "undetectable" viral load.

Feel free to post on these forums as often as you like:  it is here to support you and to provide you with the guidance and information you need to live a long and healthy life and to reach your full potential.
HIV 101 - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline kentfrat1783

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  • Posts: 59
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2017, 06:12:59 PM »
Thanks Ptrk3,

None of those items are showing up on my lab results that I can see right now, nor did they show up prior.  I have signed up for Quest Diagnostic where my CD4 #'s come from (well at least from what I can tell) so I am hoping once they update there site I will be able to see it. 

I'll be asking my ID doctor about it when I see him at the end of the month about my VL and also where I can see it. 

Just glad there is this forum. 

Kenneth
09/07/2017 - CD4 42 (6%)     VL  54        (1.70)
05/11/2017 - CD4 2   (1%)     VL 169,969 (5.23)
Dx`d May 11, 2017
Location: USA

Offline pozguy909

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  • Posts: 19
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2017, 08:43:47 PM »
Hi Kenneth,

Thank you for sharing your results.  It has made me more hopeful for myself seeing that you are improving. 

My cd4 was last measured at 17, 271000 vl.

Granted I have not been on treatment as long as you (and on genvoya), I know there is hope.  I have also been feeling great since going on treatment 3 weeks ago.

Hope your VL is nearing undetectable!

Offline kentfrat1783

  • Member
  • Posts: 59
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2017, 09:47:00 PM »
I'm glad that you have been feeling great. Just sticking to the pill regiment for a few weeks and then it becomes second nature. I do set alarms on my phone to remind me still.

Just ask your doctors questions and don't feel like any question is silly. They might have heard it a hundred times but you've only thought of it once.

This forum had also helped me a lot.

There is hope and things so get better.

Wishing you the best in this new chapter of our lives.

Kenneth
09/07/2017 - CD4 42 (6%)     VL  54        (1.70)
05/11/2017 - CD4 2   (1%)     VL 169,969 (5.23)
Dx`d May 11, 2017
Location: USA

Offline kentfrat1783

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  • Posts: 59
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2017, 05:24:44 PM »
Hi All,

I finally got my VL results today.  I'm at 51 so I can be happy with that. 

My CD4 is still at 42 but I knew that the other day so still not liking that number but it is going in the right direction.

Now just to understand some of the other test results.  Looks like I will be getting some more blood work in my near future.

Kenneth
09/07/2017 - CD4 42 (6%)     VL  54        (1.70)
05/11/2017 - CD4 2   (1%)     VL 169,969 (5.23)
Dx`d May 11, 2017
Location: USA

Offline Ptrk3

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Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2017, 05:46:02 PM »
Yes, you should be happy.  Your viral load is virtually undetectable and surely will be by the time of your next scheduled blood work.  You are definitely heading in the right direction!
HIV 101 - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline kentfrat1783

  • Member
  • Posts: 59
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2017, 06:14:32 PM »
Thank you Ptrk3,

I had some other test ran that weren't done before and came up out of range but can't have everything in range I guess.  Sure would be nice if everything was in range.  Right?

Now that I've got these test results and didn't know about the online Quest diagnostic system before I'm going to spend the $9.99 and get all of my prior test results.  Just want to have a record of it if I should ever need it in the future.   

But yes by the time I get my next round of blood work for the VL it should be undetectable.  I'd be shocked if it wasn't. 

Kenneth
09/07/2017 - CD4 42 (6%)     VL  54        (1.70)
05/11/2017 - CD4 2   (1%)     VL 169,969 (5.23)
Dx`d May 11, 2017
Location: USA

Offline Ptrk3

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  • Posts: 1,939
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2017, 07:06:27 PM »
You're welcome.  Keep up the good work, adhere to your regimen, maintain an optimistic outlook, and you will continue to live a long and healthy life!
HIV 101 - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline kentfrat1783

  • Member
  • Posts: 59
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2017, 05:38:00 PM »
Awesome.  I just got the initial lab results from Quest and it's interesting. 

I never realized that my doctor ran an HIV test on me back in March of 2011.  The HIV-1 test came back as "Not indicated" and HIV-2 was "Nonreactive".  I do remember back then I was having some odd issues but not shocked that she tested for it.  But curious on why it says "Non indicated" when I see everything as being reactive or nonreactive.

So I had 2 HIV tests that year about 6 months apart so I am pretty sure it was after then that I got infected.  I had another one that year for a life insurance policy and have the results from that as well saying I was negative. 

Also got my actual VL count to start and it's basically what the doctor said.  He said 160,000'ish but it was 169,969.  In addition there is some Novel Mutations Detected but I am thinking that is normal but no evidence to drug resistance so that is good.

But the important thing is my numbers are getting back to where they should be.  Not as fast as I'd want them to be but oh well.  Worse things could have happen. 
09/07/2017 - CD4 42 (6%)     VL  54        (1.70)
05/11/2017 - CD4 2   (1%)     VL 169,969 (5.23)
Dx`d May 11, 2017
Location: USA

Offline Mightysure

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  • Posts: 285
Re: Quarterly Blood Work
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2017, 10:32:47 AM »
Not indicated COULD mean that you were reactive on ERISA but no bands showed up on the confirmatory Western Blot. You're in the US. You can view your medical file and see what they did.

Im glad you're doing well and staying positive (no pun intended). It's odd though that you have no drug resistance and your doctor chose Atripla. It's side effect profile compared to newer drugs makes is a less optimal choice, but it still works.

 


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