Well there were no real surprises today as my specialist filled me in on those recent blood tests. This is not to say it was all good news but, on balance, I am looking forward to whatever comes next.
My viral load, a measurement of HIV activity in the blood, has gone up slightly after several years of being “undetectable” (not non-existent, just under the radar). At 1183, when I have functioned in the past with it in the hundreds of thousands, I am not yet concerned. It is not a trend we will tolerate without aggressive action but, for now, at this level it is not a worry.
The good news is that my CD-4 count, another great indicator of health, at 620 has never been higher since I tested positive in 1989 (at which time it was only 400 and, since, has been as low as 10 when I was gravely ill in the early 90s.)
For now, then, my doctor has instructed me to stay off all HIV meds – since my lapse off them is what brought this little worry on – and tests (called genotyping) are going to determine which of those meds may still work effectively in the future and which ones would have had to be changed in any event.
This leaves me to just keep watch on my diabetes and cholesterol (which I also neglected) and we will discuss where to go from here when I see him again on the 23rd of May.
All in all, I am very content with my state of being!
I googled “HIV glossary” which came up with 776 entries, some of which are in my links.
The ones listed below have their individual characteristics but I used “genotype assay” as a benchmark and they all pass the muster.
One of my favourite Canadian “gateway” sites on HIV, The Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE), describes AEGIS as “the most comprehensive collection of AIDS treatment information currently available on the Net” so I begin there (and it happens to be first in alphabetical order).
AIDS Treatment News – the gold standard of newsletters
GMHC – where support all began in New York City