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Author Topic: First post and questions about my labs  (Read 1720 times)

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Offline askwith

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First post and questions about my labs
« on: August 04, 2013, 11:56:07 PM »
I tested positive December 2012.  My CD4 was 42, and viral load 1.2 million.  Atripla brought down with in 2 weeks to CD4 150 and viral load 10,000.  I almost immediately I went IRIS.  Since then, my viral load ratcheting down.  On July 31, I got news that my viral load was 50.  The thing is, that my CD4 with within 125 - 150 through out that time.

Does anyone have any experience that the CD4 will go up?   

Offline life2

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Re: First post and questions about my labs
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2013, 02:59:58 AM »
Hi askwith,

Those who start with a low CD4 count may not see as big an increase as those who begin treatment with a higher count.  Additionally, your CD4 count can vary widely for a number of reasons including the presence of other infections.  Even the time of day can have a significant impact on your CD4 count as it is typically as much as 100 points or more higher later in the day than early in the morning. 

Consider looking at your CD% as well as this gives a more reliable measuring stick of how your immune system is recovering.  The rate of improvement in your CD4 count and CD% will vary widely from one individual to another even if they start at the same levels.

With IRIS your immune system is recovering, it's waking up, and in the process finding other infections to start fighting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immune_reconstitution_inflammatory_syndrome

The good news here is that the Atripla is working very well.  The antiretroviral drugs we take are taken to reduce the viral load.  They don't directly impact the CD4 cells.  But as the viral load drops from such a large level to nearly undetectable levels your immune system isn't under such a massive attack and can recover.

It may take a while for your CD4 count to climb over 200 and 300, etc.  The important thing is that you're doing well so far and there is no need to add any stress from worrying about it.  Focus on remaining adherent to your meds and communicate any questions and concerns you have with your Dr.  We are here to help as well

We're sorry you had to find this forum, but we're glad you did.

Be well.

Offline Ann

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Re: First post and questions about my labs
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2013, 05:23:03 AM »
Hi askwith, welcome to the forums.

I've moved your thread into the Just Tested Poz section because your questions are ones that many newly diagnosed people ask. You're still very new to all this and learning.

Life2 answered your questions very well. While it can take time for your CD4s to rise, what's really important is that your VL is nearly UD and most likely will be UD by your next set of labs.

While there's really nothing you can do to help your CD4s rise, it never hurts to pay attention to taking care of yourself in the form of eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest and also getting some exercise.

Do you have any support systems in place? Studies have shown that people who have support from friends and loved ones are healthier in general. We're here for you too, for support and information.

It does get better in time, so hang in there and try to not stress out too much about your CD4s. (I know, easier said than done, but still....)

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

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