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Author Topic: Question about cause of increased Viral Load  (Read 1033 times)

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Offline Ruefulwonder

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Question about cause of increased Viral Load
« on: February 05, 2020, 02:20:51 am »
I've been Poz for 6 years. I'm female and 54. I've never been on meds because my CD4 has remained high (850-1,000) and my viral load steadily decreased. I don't want to discuss meds because my Dr supports my decision.

Due to severe stress, vitamin deficiencies, and severe air pollution, I've been sick, fatigued and bedridden most of the last year and a half. My Viral Load stayed low and CD4 stayed high until October 2019.

E.g.: June 2019: VL 9,512 and CD4 974. October 2019: VL jumped to 26,657 and CD4 was 997. This week my Viral Load increased again to 54,950 and my CD4 was 840.

My question is, can being sick and stressed for a long time cause a Viral Load to suddenly increase??

Thank you in advance!
Oct - Dec 2013 Exposed
Feb 2014 Seroconversion

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Question about cause of increased Viral Load
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2020, 03:02:22 am »
Hiya,

Sorry to hear you have been feeling unwell, hope you feel better soon at least.

The increased VL simply means it's replicating, could be just the slow natural progression after 6 years and maybe even "part" of the reason for starting to feel the fatigue etc. HIV does measured but also uncontrolled it does damage not directly measurable to the human body.

Quote
I don't want to discuss meds because my Dr supports my decision.

Sure no problem, I get it. Personally I've been there, done that and thankfully lived to regret it.

Wishing you all the best though.

Jim
« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 03:12:22 am by Jim Allen »
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Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Question about cause of increased Viral Load
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2020, 05:30:25 am »

 I've been sick, fatigued and bedridden most of the last year and a half.



My question is, can being sick and stressed for a long time cause a Viral Load to suddenly increase??


Being sick for such a long time is not normal.

From the increasing VL, I deduct that what once had the upper hand and had held things under controll, now no longer has.

Good luck


Offline leatherman

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Re: Question about cause of increased Viral Load
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2020, 06:57:28 am »
I don't want to discuss meds because my Dr supports my decision.

My question is, can being sick and stressed for a long time cause a Viral Load to suddenly increase??
plenty of research has shown that treating all cases of HIV, even cases with high cd4 and very low VL, has long term benefits and the best way to treat HIV. In the old days, meds were often delayed but the research shows that untreated HIV is not the correct way to treat HIV.

If you have had an increasing VL and you have been sick (enough to be bedridden for more than a year!), those are clearly the signs that you should consider meds as HIV is finally getting the upper hand.

I don't want to discuss meds
while I can understand that you don't want a discussion about meds, your situation shows that you, and your doctor, need to reconsider your decision and start meds to stop your decline before it worsens even more. As you can see from your labwork, ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

Offline joemutt

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Re: Question about cause of increased Viral Load
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2020, 07:16:45 am »
without help your body is starting to lose the battle.

Offline Ruefulwonder

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Re: Question about cause of increased Viral Load
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2020, 10:50:06 am »
Thanks you guys. This is breaking my heart. I was doing well for so long. My last doctor was so encouraging, because my CD4 always remained high.

Where I lived when I was ill for so long is the number one air polluted city in the U.S. Many are not physically well there. I moved two months ago and I'm not sick anymore. I'll see what my new Dr here says and listen to them.

Unfortunately I'm still emotionally having a very hard time accepting and dealing with being poz and this is making it worse. Controlling on my own was greatly helping me deal with it.

Do Viral Loads really jump that fast, in 6 months, after steadily decreasing??
« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 10:55:37 am by Ruefulwonder »
Oct - Dec 2013 Exposed
Feb 2014 Seroconversion

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Question about cause of increased Viral Load
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2020, 12:08:25 pm »
You started off with a 100K count, right? It settled down if I hear you correctly and now is going back up.  Yes, it could start going back up that fast, it does vary by person, age, sex, etc. *

End of the day CD4 is high but not a measurement of overall health or all the damage HIV is doing even at low levels, just look at the elite controllers and hospitalization and change in recommendation for treatment to apply to everyone including them.

I think the only thing we can say for sure is it seems now your VL is going up again and not being well for a year is a situation definitely to discuss with your new doctor.

I do hope you do feel better soon.

Jim

*



www.researchgate.net
A generalized graph of the relationship between HIV copies (viral load) and CD4 counts over the average course of untreated HIV infection; any particular individualís disease course may vary considerably [Weba].


https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=2276.0 "Intro and when to start treatment"

https://www.poz.com/article/Antiretrovials-Reduce-Cellular-Inflammation-Among-Elite-Controllers-of-HIV-23608-3878
Antiretrovials Reduce Cellular Inflammation Among Elite Controllers of HIV

https://www.poz.com/article/hiv-cardiovascular-elite-controllers-23015-5910
Cardiovascular Disease Risk Remains High in HIV Elite Controllers

"Elite Controllers Hospitalized More Often Than Those Treated For HIV"   
https://www.poz.com/article/elite-controllers-hospitalizations-26678-5093

Elite Controllers on average spent more than twice as many nights in hospital than people on ART, and about 50% more than people not on ART and with detectable viral loads. After adjusting for various differences between the EC and non-EC population, the study still found that ECs were 56% more likely to be admitted to hospital than people with undetectable viral loads on ART.

Elite Controllers Crowell TA et al. "Elite controllers" are hospitalized more often than persons with medically controlled HIV. Journal of Infectious Diseases, early online publication. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiu809. 2014.

Karris MY and Haubrich RH. Antiretroviral therapy in the elite controller, justified or premature? Journal of Infectious Diseases, early online publication. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiu812. 2014.

Cockerham LR and Hatano H. Elite control of HIV: is this the right model for a functional cure? Trends in Microbiology, early online publication. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tim.2014.11.003.2014.


« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 12:17:08 pm by Jim Allen »
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Offline Ruefulwonder

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Re: Question about cause of increased Viral Load
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2020, 02:07:53 pm »
Jim, actually I began at 220K in 2014 and it kept going down until last year. My CD4 stayed high. Your middle paragraph was very reassuring thank you. I didn't know Elites had turnarounds where they weren't able to control it on their own anymore! That makes me feel better.

I think I've been clinging to being a Non Progressor for emotional reasons. I can't seem to shake the stigma and baggage from the media scares in the mid 80s. Plus I'm terrified inside of dying early. Being a Non Progressor protected me from all that. And ashamed of how I got it too.

Thanks again
Oct - Dec 2013 Exposed
Feb 2014 Seroconversion

Offline Ruefulwonder

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Re: Question about cause of increased Viral Load
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2020, 02:16:15 pm »
Jim, actually I began at 220K in 2014 and it kept going down until last year. My CD4 stayed high. Your middle paragraph was very reassuring thank you. I didn't know Elites had turnarounds where they weren't able to control it on their own anymore! That makes me feel better.

I think I've been clinging to being a Non Progressor for emotional reasons. I can't seem to shake the stigma and baggage from the media scares in the mid 80s. Plus I'm terrified inside of dying early. Being a Non Progressor protected me from all that. And ashamed of how I got it too.

Thanks again
Oct - Dec 2013 Exposed
Feb 2014 Seroconversion

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Question about cause of increased Viral Load
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2020, 02:22:58 pm »
Okay so, you started with 220K start and then as a non-progressor aka elite controller, your VL was suppressed for a few years.

Quote
I can't seem to shake the stigma and baggage from the media scares in the mid 80s. Plus I'm terrified inside of dying early. Being a Non Progressor protected me from all that. And ashamed of how I got it too.

That's the thing it seems to be doing a lousy job of protecting you, and treatment is recommended for good reasons. I can appreciate the fears you have but even more the reason to consider treatment to stop the virus from doing uncontrolled measured and/or unmeasured damage to you.

Talk to your new doctor and see what they say.

Best, Jim
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
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Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Question about cause of increased Viral Load
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2020, 02:27:26 pm »


I think I've been clinging to being a Non Progressor for emotional reasons. I can't seem to shake the stigma and baggage from the media scares in the mid 80s. Plus I'm terrified inside of dying early. Being a Non Progressor protected me from all that. And ashamed of how I got it too.

Thanks again

Do you want to be freed from all that, and regain your life and mind ? : Surrender to the pill !

There are now one a day pills with barely side effects. Off all the different pills I have taken in the past, Biktarvy is THE best with NO side effects whatsoever. It's like taking a vitamin supplement.

You take your pill, your VL will drop to undetectable, your CD4's will rise. Once undetectable you are no longer infectious....you will be as healthy as anyone and will die just as "early" as anyone else.

Offline harleymc

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Re: Question about cause of increased Viral Load
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2020, 11:57:13 pm »
Dear RW

Hope you are feeling better soon, both emotionally and physically.

I went for a few years without taking medications, but now it's been about 27 years on medication.  It's just a little pill, I take before I go to work. It gives me peace of mind, knowing I'm keeping my husband safe and me well.

Do keep in touch, it can be a bit of a tricky time adjusting at first, but in the long haul it should be good.

Hugs

Offline Ruefulwonder

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Re: Question about cause of increased Viral Load
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2020, 10:34:01 am »
Grasshopper and Harley, good to know. It's emotional. If I surrender it'll mean I'm accepting I really have it. Hard to admit I'm in denial still after 6 years. The way I got the virus is associated with traumatic memories. Thanks again for your info and support.
Oct - Dec 2013 Exposed
Feb 2014 Seroconversion

 


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