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Author Topic: I still need some clarification on the numbers in relation to each other.  (Read 1898 times)

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Offline greg_atl

  • Member
  • Posts: 20
I have a question on how the numbers work here.  When I was diagnosed I had a cd 4 of 117 and a viral load of 168,000.  I see others in the forums that in some instances have a higher cd 4 count but also with a higher viral load.  At my last test my cd 4 had come up to 210 but I was not told what my viral load was except that it was still on the high side.  I guess I would have thought that if the cd 4 count is higher that the viral load would low and or vice versa, low cd 4 count and a high viral load.  It can be so confusing at times. 
08-27-12 - Results came in as +
09-24-12 - Earliest Dr appt I could get. 7 Test tubes of blood
10-17-12- 2nd Dr visit.. started on Bactrim & Complara - 1 more blood test
CD4 - 117
CD 4 Helper - 10.6%
V/L - 168,240

Offline WillyWump

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,367
Hi Greg,

The really is no "formula" to the two numbers. Everyone is different.  But generally once the VL starts dropping and ultimately gets to undetectable levels the CD4's then have a chance to rebound, however that rebound could take months or even years. So "Low CD4" does not always equal "High VL" and vice-versa.

Remember, the goal is to get the VL to undetectable first and foremost.

« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 08:55:14 PM by WillyWump »
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
11-6-14 CD4- 871, UD
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir

Offline wolfter

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,470
Any viral load beyond UD in on the high side.  As long as you continue to see a decrease in the VL and an increase in your CD4's then the meds are doing their job.  Not everyone becomes undectable immediately.

Best wishes.

Being honest is not wronging others, continuing the dishonesty is.


  • Guest
My Doc insists that the raw (or absolute) number in the CD4 is not nearly as important as the percentage of white blood cells that are CD4.  You can have a low overall count, but if they comprise a higher percentage of total white bloodcells, you may be healthier than someone with a higher CD4 count.

Offline bloodtype

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
this might not be the most responsible attitude, but I decided when I started meds that I wasn't going to keep track of my numbers. I trust my doctor to do it for me and I trust I'll be informed if they ever go from "good" to "not good."

for now I know that I'm undetectable and have a "good" CD4 count.

there are plenty of dates, numbers, and other figures running around my brain as it is. it's just simpler and less stressful for me to handle these numbers this way.

Offline greg_atl

  • Member
  • Posts: 20
Thanks for the replies.  I have a Dr appt on 2-18 and I am really anxious to see where my numbers are at that time.  I am still very early on in getting my head wrapped around all of these new terms but I have come a long way from where I was when diagnosed.  I always felt I was pretty educated when it came to HIV since I have many friends that are positive but I was wrong.  I appreciate each and everyone in the forums and their stories that they share to each and everyone of us, always something to learn.  A friend of mine told me that one of his Dr's told him there are worse things out there that will kill you before HIV does, at the top is the traffic here n Atlanta.  I feel very fortunate that I found this resource and that I am not the only 1 out there. 

08-27-12 - Results came in as +
09-24-12 - Earliest Dr appt I could get. 7 Test tubes of blood
10-17-12- 2nd Dr visit.. started on Bactrim & Complara - 1 more blood test
CD4 - 117
CD 4 Helper - 10.6%
V/L - 168,240


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