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Author Topic: Home testing  (Read 1563 times)

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Offline Live040314

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Home testing
« on: May 02, 2014, 12:52:16 AM »
Just out of curiosity, are there any CD4/ VL testing methods for at home use that accurately measure these two levels? I'd be interested in tracking my progression more closely than the twice a year that is normal.
4/3/14 Diagnosed
4/10/14 Initial Labs VL 12000, CD4 736 (30%)
4/27/14 Started Complera
6/10/14 VL 173, CD4 680 (34%)
7/31/14 VL <20, CD4 795 (34%)
10/31/14 VL <20, CD4 809 (32%)
3/9/15 VL <20, CD4 615 (38%)
4/23/15 VL <20, CD4 791 (39%)
9/16/15 VL <20, CD4 840 (34%)
4/18/16 VL <20, CD4 1062 (29%)
5/1/16 Started Odefsey

Offline Ann

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Re: Home testing
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2014, 05:41:32 AM »
If I recall correctly, there is a lab company who has been looking into an in-home CD4 test kit, similar to the kit that diabetics use to monitor their blood sugar. I think the research was being done with the resource-poor market in mind more so than First World convenience, although both groups would benefit.

I doubt very much that we'll ever have an in-home VL test kit - VL testing is too complicated and I believe it involves specialist machines, which is why it often isn't a routine test in some third world countries.

Bocker may have more insight into the mechanics of these two tests - I'm just posting "off the top of my head" what I remember reading about these things .

PS - I responded to a question you had about chronic diarrhea (dire-rear, as I like to call it) in your thread in the treatments section but you haven't been back in that thread since then. Did you forget about that thread? Just wondering.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 05:56:59 AM by Ann »
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Offline Buckmark

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Re: Home testing
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2014, 12:11:19 PM »
I had thought that one of these tests (either CD4, or viral load) required the blood sample to be spun in a centrifuge and then frozen.  That would make a home test rather impractical, unless they can come up with a whole new method.  And that's certainly possible, but I would think the demand for this kind of home test would be rather low, and thus the cost would be rather high.

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Offline Jmarksto

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Re: Home testing
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2014, 12:36:12 PM »
I'd be interested in tracking my progression more closely than the twice a year that is normal.

Live;  Is your doc only testing every 6 months?  If I recall you are newly diagnosed.  My doc did quarterly tests for the first year (I think for liver/kidney function more than VL and CD4), and has gone to every 4 months the second year, and is now giving me the option to go to every 6 months.  You may be able to ask your doc for more regular tests.
03/15/12 Negative
06/15/12 Positive
07/11/12 CD4 790          VL 4,000
08/06/12 CD4 816/38%   VL 49,300
08/20/12 Started Complera
11/06/12 CD4   819/41% VL 38
02/11/13 CD4   935/41% VL UD
06/06/13 CD4   816/41% VL UD
10/28/13 CD4 1131/45% VL 25
02/25/14 CD4   792/37% VL UD
07/09/14 CD4 1004/39% VL UD
11/03/14 CD4   711/34% VL UD
03/13/15 CD4   833/36% VL UD
04/??/15 Truvada & Tivicay
06/01/15 CD4 1100/50% VL UD
10/16/15 CD4   826/43% VL UD

Offline Live040314

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Re: Home testing
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2014, 01:14:01 PM »
My treatment/testing plan is as follows:

4/3/14: diagnosed
4/10/14: First appt with specialist, initial labs drawn
4/24/14: Follow up appt, Complera prescribed, no labs
1 month later: follow up, labs drawn
3 months later: follow up, labs drawn
Every 6 months thereafter: follow up, labs drawn
4/3/14 Diagnosed
4/10/14 Initial Labs VL 12000, CD4 736 (30%)
4/27/14 Started Complera
6/10/14 VL 173, CD4 680 (34%)
7/31/14 VL <20, CD4 795 (34%)
10/31/14 VL <20, CD4 809 (32%)
3/9/15 VL <20, CD4 615 (38%)
4/23/15 VL <20, CD4 791 (39%)
9/16/15 VL <20, CD4 840 (34%)
4/18/16 VL <20, CD4 1062 (29%)
5/1/16 Started Odefsey

Offline bocker3

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Re: Home testing
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2014, 08:01:38 AM »
Bocker may have more insight into the mechanics of these two tests - I'm just posting "off the top of my head" what I remember reading about these things .

I haven't been keeping up with advances in laboratory science, but this had me do a bit of research (God, how I wish google had existed when I was in college........).
Seems there was a kit being tested for CD4 testing, it said it was showing promise, but the article was from 2010 - so, I'm guessing the promise has failed.  I would think that to do this -- they would have to find some sort of surrogate marker, like a protein or something similar, that they could "easily" use to measure.  Though, I would expect that any early test would not be for home use, but used for quick Point of Care testing. 
However, given that CD4 results send people into panics all the time on these boards, I'm not sure that having them for home use is such a good idea.  Things like pregnancy testing is a once and done sort of thing -- glucose monitoring comes with some education, that allows a patient to take the right action.  These are different, in my mind.
VL testing -- I've found nothing indicating any traction here.  Seems like there should be a "simpler" test -- but it probably would be unsuitable for folk on treatment, as the VL is minute, to non-existent. 

Henry - it's the VL test that is spun, because it's run off plasma/serum, so you want to separate out the cells.  It's frozen due to delayed testing.  If you were drawn at a lab that ran it right away, no freezing would be needed.  CD4 testing requires the cells and uses whole blood -- no centrifuging required.

Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2015 969/28% <20

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Home testing
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2014, 09:02:32 AM »
This months Smithsonian Magazine has a fascinating article about smart phones and inexpensive home testing for all kinds of conditions that can be diagnosed in seconds with a smart phone, it can do the work of a huge laboratory microscope that cost millions . The best part is it cost about $10 dollars to make a smart phone perform these test that traditionally cost up to thousands of dollars . I think this smartphone technology has been discussed on the forum before but I wanted to share it again . 

The article does not specifically mention cd4 cell counts but I would think we will have that capability in our lifetime also . 

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Offline Dan0

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Re: Home testing
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2014, 12:05:17 PM »
My concern would be some of the potential users of this and the marketability.  For those who have a good grip on their diagnosis and engage their health care professional with the prescribed testing regimen, there would probably not be much need for this aside from some novelty or curiosity. 

I would shudder to think what target audience a marketing guru would come up with!  The newly diagnosed, the uninformed or the perpetual  hand-wringers would be a revenue stream that I doubt they could pass up. The thinking of "If a standard of quarterly or every six months is good, then every MONTH must be better" may seep into the thoughts of some folks.  Not that this wouldn't be of benefit to some people and - hec - I would probably be inclinded for curiosity sake to take a whirl at it, but I cringe at some of the possible over-use that could come about and the dollars that would be required. It just doesn't take the place of monitored testing protocol but some may think it would. If it's an inexpensive APP on a smartphone - count me in.  If it's an over-the-counter (and probably expensive) home test kit, then I think I'll rely on my insurance and my doctor.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2014, 12:08:38 PM by Dan0 »
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