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

Viral load down, Detectable.

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thanks so much Jim

Jim Allen:
No problem.

Updated my post with an answer I provided to a similar question raised, I hope that helps.

--- Quote ---For PLWH that just means that the cd4 count means little as long as it's >200 (less than 200 has been shown to make people exceptionally susceptible to having an opportunistic disease). The number to really watch is the VL. If it's in the "undetectable range" then HIV is suppressed and your body is basically running the way it would without HIV.
--- End quote ---

I fully agreed with Leatherman, the CD4 counts are rather irrelevant. It's not a measurement of overall health and they bounce up and down all the time. Some people have a more stable trend, genetics I suppose plays a role.

My last CD4 counts were 800 - 848 - 1140 - 670 and most recent 610 - Is 1140 better than 600? Should I be worried? Is this because I ate a burger at MD's as a treat or had a late night once? No is the answer to all these things, as long as my viral load is suppressed then the CD4 count once above 200 or 14% is nothing to worry about.


--- Quote from: TGun on June 29, 2021, 08:59:32 am ---CD4 keeps dropping while predictably always increased during every visit

--- End quote ---
since cd4s are so variable, the best way to look at them is by the trend. Look at the numbers of at least 3 tests over at least 6 months. (you could even graph them out) Is the trend up or down or basically no change? that will give you a better idea of what's going on.

You can also check the cd4% (my results come in a test labeled "LYMPHOCYTE SUBSET PANEL"). this is a less variable number. This number represents the percentage of total lymphocytes that are CD4s. Go back through a few results and see if this number is steady or changing. If your cd4 count is lower than you expect, the cd4% can put it into better perspective by telling whether this is an actual change or just a fluctuation.

--- Quote from: TGun on June 29, 2021, 08:59:32 am ---"Hiv <20 detected"

--- End quote ---
"undetectable" is such an imprecise word. Until there is a cure, there's always some HIV in your system, either free-floating or stored in reservoirs where it stays latent for the most part. Periodically, this latent HIV will reactivate - and that's why we take meds every day to stop this HIV. Theoretically then you could test one day and have results for "undetected" (which only means that the test which goes to 20, didn't detect at least 20); but the next day you could test and get a "detected" result .... if those latent reservoirs released some HIV. "<20 detected" means that the test, which goes down to 20, measured some HIV but <20. Is that any different really than "<20 undetected"? not really. In both cases the viral load is well under 200 (which is the goal of successful treatment) and if the patient remains adherent to meds, there's nothing to worry about.

jim and leatherman,,

you gents are a godsend.  thank you so much for your time with all of this.  its such a mind fcxk this whole thing can be and unfortunately there is very little to if any community out there to help in these situations.. ive always just felt like im in this on my own over the years.... thanks again you two.   ill be seeing the ID MD soon and if i gather any knowledge beyond what is posted here ill surely update for future readers.


--- Quote from: TGun on June 29, 2021, 06:14:53 pm ---ive always just felt like im in this on my own over the years

--- End quote ---
i felt the same way back in 1996 when I joined these forums when they were known as All my friends had died, along with my first partner (I've lost two to HIV/AIDS; but was happily married a few yrs ago to my third longtime HIV+ partner) and I felt like I might have been the last HIV+ person in my area.

Know that many of us have traveled in the past the path that you do now and certainly understand. {{{hugs}}}


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