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Main Forums => I Just Tested Poz => Topic started by: artis2068 on May 28, 2020, 12:41:02 pm

Title: HIV Treatment / Viral Load Issues
Post by: artis2068 on May 28, 2020, 12:41:02 pm
My Stat's and Journey So Far:

1st Visit: Nov 7, 2019 / CD4 15 & VL 4.8 Million
2nd Visit: Nov 21, 2019 / CD4 44 & VL2,350
3rd Visit: December 17, 2019 / CD4 82 & VL 626
4th Visit: Feb 17, 2020 /CD4 78 & VL 206
5th Visit: May 26, 2020 / CD4 206 & VL 506

I'm very concerned that my Viral Load has ticked back up while on Biktarvy. However I am thankful to have CD4 now over 206.

My questions are as follows:
1. Is it normal for the viral load to tick back up as it has since I started so high before becoming undetectable?

2. What has been your experience with getting your viral load under control starting with such a high number?

3. Should I be concerned that its now trending upwards but my CD4 is improving or is this a probably just viral blip of some sort?

Please help I'm 1000% adherent to my medicine. I just really want to get this to undetectable. I dont want to panic but I will not lie this is very concerning for me. Please provide your experience
Title: Re: HIV Treatment / Viral Load Issues
Post by: Jim Allen on May 28, 2020, 12:48:53 pm
Hiya,

It's often not a straight line and blips along the way happen particularly within the first year. 4.8 Million to 506 is not bad though.

Some people are UD within a few months and others take longer or may need to switch meds at some stage.

Have you spoken to your doctor about the results? What did they say?
Have you had resistance checked?

Best, Jim
Title: Re: HIV Treatment / Viral Load Issues
Post by: artis2068 on May 28, 2020, 01:17:19 pm
I spoke with the nurse, however I'm waiting for my doctor to call me now. The nurse stated she doesn't believe I have anything to worry about since the CD 4 is continuing to rise however I'm not sure of the what the doctors perspective is. I had a genotype test when I first started in November and they determine my hiv had not had resistance to Biktarvy. All my other labs came back perfect urine, and blood work. So I just dont know what to think. I know because I started out so high it will take time but I wasnt expecting for my VL to jump up. Last time I got my results my VL went down but my CD decreased a little now its its vice versa.
Title: Re: HIV Treatment / Viral Load Issues
Post by: Expat1 on May 28, 2020, 01:23:02 pm
You started with a very high viral load.

The medicine has brought it down to low detectable levels. 

The last 3 viral load readings were all similar between undetectable and less than 700.

Two viral loads over 1000 would be concerning at this point.

On the good side your  CD4 has gone above 200 and that is fantastic!

If I were you, I would be concerned about taking medicine as prescribed and make sure you go to all labs and appointments.  Your doctor has this covered.

In my opinion.
Title: Re: HIV Treatment / Viral Load Issues
Post by: artis2068 on May 28, 2020, 01:37:16 pm
I honestly feel its a blip because of the high VL i started with and its only been six months. There is no telling how long this virus has been causing havoc in my body. So when I speak with my doctor Im see if we can do a retest in like two week or month to see what she thinks is best. 
Title: Re: HIV Treatment / Viral Load Issues
Post by: Jim Allen on May 28, 2020, 02:50:55 pm
Try not to stress about it.

You're 6 months into treatment and doing great so far :)
Title: Re: HIV Treatment / Viral Load Issues
Post by: artis2068 on May 28, 2020, 03:37:20 pm
Thank you. I will keep pushing forward. I appreciate both of you for your perspective. Im a product of the microwave generation so we like things to happen quickly :'( but one thing I have learned from this virus is patiences. 
Title: Re: HIV Treatment / Viral Load Issues
Post by: harleymc on June 07, 2020, 12:02:16 am
One result that went up is not a trend.
Title: Re: HIV Treatment / Viral Load Issues
Post by: Grasshopper on June 07, 2020, 04:22:16 am
First of all: Be Patience !....you'll get there !!!

Bare in mind that with a lot of patients starting treatment with low CD4 count (=Nadir) it may take longer for their Cd4's to recover to "normal" levels. But most important is the dramatic DROP of your viral load.

You are NOT undetectable yet....the current standards is for it to be less than 50 or preferably 20. But don't worry...be patient...you'll get there...it's only been 6 months since you started treatment.

1) Yes it's not uncommon for your VL to do a "peek a boo" in the beginning, especially since you are not "undetectable" yet. Munster up a bit more patience and keep adhering to your medication = the Biktarvy.

2) In my days (2001), undetectable meant 500 or less....that number would nowadays scare you shitless ;-). My CD4's were unmeasurable when I restarted HAART (had to stop for a few years due to severe allergic reactions). It took a couple of years, but my VL kept dropping and my CD4's steadily increased. For well over 15 years my VL has been undetectable (less than 20) and my CD4's hovering around 1300's.

3)Again NO...no need to be alarmed or concerned...it's only 1 test result...could very well be just a blip or testing error. Only if over the coming months it's doesn't resume dropping ...or keeps climbing...then it should be addressed and perhaps medication change considered. Lucky you nowadays there are lot of alternatives available.

I understand your urge to reach undetectable asap, however it doesn't work that way. With patience and  adherence you will reach undetectable and healthy CD4 count. Bictarvy is a miracle pill and not a magical wand with which you can make an instant cure happen  ;)

Good luck, and hope that I was of any help  ;)





My Stat's and Journey So Far:

1st Visit: Nov 7, 2019 / CD4 15 & VL 4.8 Million
2nd Visit: Nov 21, 2019 / CD4 44 & VL2,350
3rd Visit: December 17, 2019 / CD4 82 & VL 626
4th Visit: Feb 17, 2020 /CD4 78 & VL 206
5th Visit: May 26, 2020 / CD4 206 & VL 506

I'm very concerned that my Viral Load has ticked back up while on Biktarvy. However I am thankful to have CD4 now over 206.

My questions are as follows:
1. Is it normal for the viral load to tick back up as it has since I started so high before becoming undetectable?

2. What has been your experience with getting your viral load under control starting with such a high number?

3. Should I be concerned that its now trending upwards but my CD4 is improving or is this a probably just viral blip of some sort?

Please help I'm 1000% adherent to my medicine. I just really want to get this to undetectable. I dont want to panic but I will not lie this is very concerning for me. Please provide your experience
Title: Re: HIV Treatment / Viral Load Issues
Post by: kentfrat1783 on June 07, 2020, 11:39:57 am
Hi,

Along with the others, your CD4 started low and VL high but the numbers are going in the correct direction. 

For me, my CD4 started at 2 back in May of 2017 but only recently went over 200 (but I'm still in disbelief over that).  My VL recently had a blip and hoping when I get my bloodwork this week it will be back under 20.  Then again I got my bloodwork done at a different lab so I've heard each lab uses slightly different reporting so that could be it (at least let myself say that).

I am sure soon you will start with every 3-month appointment so that it will help to equalize the results.  My specialist has started to talk about every 6-month had happy (nervous) about that.   Just like your blood pressure your VL changes throughout the day so make sure to get your tests done roughly the same time each day. 

Just remember, you started at a very high VL and it has dropped dramatically.  Now let your body adjust, work with your new Rx and you'll see the change.  Don't forget to relax and get sleep. 

Kenneth
Title: Re: HIV Treatment / Viral Load Issues
Post by: Marcanthony on June 16, 2020, 01:12:31 pm
Hello and welcome!

Do not fear; I had the same issue so I know how you feel and the anxiety it causes you.

When you read online or speak to others the majority of people get to UD very quickly. It took me almost 18 months! I was worried but working with my dr helped a lot.

I was first diagnosed cd4 was 4 and VL was 151 thousand
Put on first mix which took VL to 104
Then dr put me on genvoya. My VL was up and down for months.
Added in a PI; didn’t work
Then moved me to Truvada and Tivicay. The Tivicay twice a day.
Brought VL down a little but wouldn’t budge under UD.
Changed dosing times and I’ve been UD ever since.

Cd4 is almost 300 as well now.

Title: Re: HIV Treatment / Viral Load Issues
Post by: JosephP on June 25, 2020, 10:10:40 pm
 :) :) While 'blips' do happen it doesn't make them less scary! But do not fear. During the first months of treatment seems to be quite common. It happened to me too and my ID dr. sent me to have the tests redone. I had reached UD and about 3 months later, during my new set of blood work, my CD4 had increased and also my VL.. I, literally, panicked! But she is a great physician with such a calming attitude that I wasn't panicked anymore, still worried.. Had the test done over and came back UD.. Keep adherent to your meds, follow doctors instructions and plugging forward we will march!!
Title: Re: HIV Treatment / Viral Load Issues
Post by: Bhall4 on July 08, 2020, 04:27:06 pm
same situation and it is distressing. Here are my VL 78,000 > 90 > 180 > less than 20 (two weeks after that 180. They even attempted a viral resistant test that came back inconclusive due to “not enough virus detected). My most recent is back at 70 😭😭😭. But not freaking out as bad as i did before.

My CD4 is 1000k+.