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Main Forums => Living With HIV => Topic started by: Jackmydin on March 19, 2019, 01:35:59 am

Title: Finally good news after a year long wait
Post by: Jackmydin on March 19, 2019, 01:35:59 am
I just walked out of my specialist room, and collected my new batch of meds.

I'm thrilled to share this, that my cd4 finally goes up to 400! I'm still remaining undetectable and other vital signs are normal too. This is a great boost of confidence especially I have been worrying alot on my slow cd4 recovery.

Thank you all for being with me all these time.
Title: Re: Finally good news after a year long wait
Post by: Expat1 on March 20, 2019, 03:04:21 pm
Nice! 
Title: Re: Finally good news after a year long wait
Post by: Jim Allen on March 20, 2019, 03:36:53 pm
Excellent update, glad to hear you feel good  :)
Title: Re: Finally good news after a year long wait
Post by: Jackmydin on October 09, 2019, 09:49:21 pm
I decided to update here since its related to my cd4.

Just had my usual blood work review and everything is normal except one disappointment which my cd4 dropped from previous 450 (16%) to 286 (11%). Doc calmed me saying its normal and I'm still undetectable, which is good enough. Probably I was sick or flu hence the cd4 drop. But deep inside the disappointment still kicking hard :(

Next blood test would be Feb 2020, looks like I'll need to starting eating healthy and keep my levels on par!!
Title: Re: Finally good news after a year long wait
Post by: leatherman on October 10, 2019, 07:15:56 am
looks like I'll need to starting eating healthy and keep my levels on par!!
eating healthy will help you be healthier; but won't change your cd4 count. your cd4s are based on your genetics. Without a test prior to becoming HIV+ you really don't know what your "normal" range was, so worrying about your count doesn't do much. All we can do is adhere to ARVs to make sure HIV isn't destroying any cd4s.

Here's a lot of other cd4 info I pulled from previous replies I have posted:

since cd4s are variable (they can change by 100 pts in a day) CD4 counts are best viewed as the graph of at least 3 tests over at least 3 months time. A one time test doesn't tell you much. It's always about the trend (up or down) over 3 or more tests.

the cd4 test is simply a snapshot of your cd4 count at that moment. Cd4s fluctuate all day long, and by up to 100 points either way. Exercise lowers then raises your cd4 temporarily; while smoking will raise then lower the amount. there is no treatment for raising cd4s. All we can do is remain virally suppressed, through adherence to daily meds, so that our cd4s are allowed to flourish without being used up by HIV

because the immune system you have is based on your genetics, there is no magic number of cd4s. cd4s are a part of our immune system; therefore a cd4 count is not a measure of "healthiness" although the thinking is that more cd4s equals a more robust immune system. Being a quantitative measure not a quality measure though, the cd4 count does not reflect whether you have a strong/effective immune system. Some people with low cd4s are rarely "sick", while others with high counts can experience health issues. Having a high cd4 count does not mean you should feel well/healthy - that mainly depends on your food, exercise, and bad/good habits, although an immune system fighting off the germs does certainly help one to feel good  :)

with all that said, what you'll need to focus on is: are you virally suppressed ("undetectable", <20), and is your cd4 above 200. worrying about anything else is wasted energy. ;)
Title: Re: Finally good news after a year long wait
Post by: Jackmydin on October 10, 2019, 07:40:48 am
Good say, leatherman.

I know I shouldn't be too focus on the numbers, and grateful for being undetectable. But sometimes emotions just get carried away and worrying for nothing.

Thanks for explaining how cd4 function as a whole in the body. I'll keep that in mind! 👍
Title: Re: Finally good news after a year long wait
Post by: leatherman on October 10, 2019, 10:48:35 am
But sometimes emotions just get carried away and worrying for nothing.
trust me I can understand. My cd4 count from 1992 till 2004 stayed <200. That's 12 years with aids-defining cd4s  --- and I didn't have a stable undetectable viral load either. Matter of fact it wasn't until the end of that 12 yrs that I even saw undetectable. Of course, my situation back then was different from today  - early meds, side effects, nearly dying from aids, recovering from aids, no meds, nearly dying again, and yet recovering again (woohoo!); but I certainly understand worrying about the numbers. My situation was so dire that I had blood work done every 4-6 wks for most of a decade and each time waiting two weeks for that number to return. no EMR (electronic medical records) or healthcare providers' portals back then so it was a loooong nail-biting time waiting on blood results and hoping my cd4 had gone up towards 250 and not backwards toward 200.

Since 2008, my VL has remained undetectable (well, there was a short period of time with a blip but that's another story) and my cd4 has hovered around 300. It did bump up to 415 one time but now that I think about it, that was probably a year ago or more. During all this time, as I've aged from my 40s into my late 50s, thanks to my good adherence to post-2005 meds, I'm actually healthier than I ever was in my 30s - and all with a 300-350 cd4 count.

So what I learned through the 15 years since all those bad years is that the cd4 count is the most irrelevant lab count you'll ever pay for  :D .... as long as it's above the 200 mark.  ;) Below that mark, opportunistic infections are very probable, and there's something to worry about. Above that mark, and your immune system is doing whatever it's doing (going up and down by 100pts a day maybe, dropping really low for a short time period because it's been working hard fighting off a cold, the flu, etc.) For the most part though the number is just irrelevant because you can't change it - because it's genetics and only mildly influenced by healthy living activities.

which reminds me of another cd4 factoid: without a cd4 count done prior to becoming HIV+ you actually don't know what YOUR average cd4 range is (remember it fluctuates, so it's never just one number but a range of values). So when we expect cd4s to rise to a certain number, just what number are we expecting without any data to know what was happening in our bodies before HIV? None of us really know whether we had a high-count or low-count cd4 immune system. So without knowing what range your counts were in, it's just a lot of stress to worry if your count is lower than what you "expected". (btw there are other cd counts. the cd4 is just part of the immune system and why that count taken alone is not an indicator of your health or strength of immune system)

I know this has probably been TL;DR but one last thing. Since the cd4 count is only a quantitative amount and not a measure of "healthiness", how do you feel? Are you over your recent sickness? Are you feeling good? If so, well, there you go! Clearly your immune system is working for you regardless of how many cd4s you had at the moment you had that blood drawn. :D
Title: Re: Finally good news after a year long wait
Post by: Expat1 on October 10, 2019, 09:40:25 pm
Hi, Jackm.....   My partner and I were both fortunate to discover our HIV+ status in the very early stage before out CD4 ever declined.  Mine has been over 1000 for six years now.    About 3 years ago, my Partners declined on one test reading to 600.   He was "concerned".  I told him it was normal before and that 600 was still "normal".   His next test back at 900+.   

My viral load was HIV undetected <20  for 22 tests.  Two tests it was  HIV detected <20. 

So yeah head trips, but not worry.  Thats why we got doctors and labs.   They will figure it out.
Title: Re: Finally good news after a year long wait
Post by: JosephP on October 24, 2019, 10:07:10 pm
Hey Jack... I have been diagnosed HIV+ for six years now and started with CD4 of 198.. AIDS! Started on Stribild (I took Atripla for 2 days and couldn't tolerate it at all) and within 60 days I was undetectable.... And my CD4 had climbed to 234. And it has kept on going up and up... On my last labs it was 870... But I did have a drop about 4 years ago that scared the living lights out of me... My ID doc was extremely helpful and reassuring when she said that 'blips' happen and the CD4 measures the moment not a trend. So keep it up! Take your meds, eat well and enjoy life!