Q and A

Question

Will I get infections if my CD4 count is 140?

Hi , I was diagnosed with HIV in September and commenced treatment one week later with a CD4 of 140 and viral load of 28,000.

What does this mean in terms of achieving undetectable viral load? I live a very active life with travel (work related) and lots of flights overseas. I am worried around catching an infection as my CD4 is very low, but yet I do not suffer illness and I am relatively fit ( run 3 x 6km per week). Any guidance / comments would be appreciated.

Answer

Being diagnosed with HIV can be very difficult. How are you dealing with your diagnoses? Are you getting any support? How are you finding taking treatment?

As you are on treatment, your viral load will come down. Though it may take up to six months before you become undetectable. It takes some time for a CD4 count to rise, this though will also happen. With time. You do though need to adhere to you meds. As you travel this (even if you are not on Atripla) this might help:

http://i-base.info/qa/984

Having a low CD4 count does not mean that you will become ill – it is just that you have a higher risk of developing opportunistic illnesses (OIs). The following explains more about some OIs that you could get:

http://i-base.info/ttfa/section-1/12-cd4-count-cut-offs-and-the-risks-of-opportunistic-infections/

Most OIs are treatable. If you are concerned, then please talk to your doctor.

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