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The Chemistry of everyday life, an HIV blogger. Twitter: @tcghiv | Email: tetrahydroziline@gmail.com

Four Hundred Six

Just like what my previous post was described - deteriorating, so as my new CD4 count. Last week I went to RITM to have my CD4 count and refill of meds. It was quite a busy day for them as the clinic was bombarded by old timers and new patients. They have a new system for those who are due for their CD4 test - to have it scheduled prior to you arrival at the clinic. I have heard this from a friend of mine and immediately sent Ate Beth an  SMS to have my appointment o more than a week before my preferred date.

Come that day, I called in sick to my boss and went straight to Alabang. My home is quite near RITM so there was no need to struggle for an early morning call time - they have a cutoff time for the test which is 10am. I arrived like 9am and it was crowded. They have asked if I had my appointment BUT they cannot seem to find my name on that piece of 'office desk calendar' appointment sheet. Just to find out that they mistakenly wrote my code as R11-XXX which should have been R10-XXX, ayaw pa nila ko payagan to take the test kasi wala naman daw sa list yung 'code' ko. I insisted that I have called a week before this day and they admit they commit an error. So the mere difference of R10 versus R11 would have put my leave into waste.

This was also the day when I saw an old friend of mine. But I did not pay attention too much to him as he was aslo busy with his anniverasry exams.

My tests were done and I'm now waiting for the prescription of my ARV's. When this guy came in almost 10am, just before the cutoff time for CD4 testing, he didn't know about the appointment and schedule setting prior to the test but after  a while they allowed him to take the CD4 test. I was just a mere observer that time and only one thing came into my mind: I have scheduled myself a week before this day to have my CD4 test and almost on the brink of not taking it and wasting my leave to nothing when this guy came on an instant and he was allowed to take it? That was just too unfair. This guy was like a BFF to them. Ok fine, I now know where should I place myself.

Nonetheless, I was still grateful that I had the test and they gave my 3-month supply of ARVs - STILL. Contrart to what others have said a week before that they now only give 1 month supply.
That day was really a frustration, my first time to experience after 2 years of going to them. Everytime I go to RITM, I always wanted to stay even after my appointment as I wanted to mingle with other patients and staffs, now It's like the opposite. I wanna get myself out the minute I finish my deal. I just hope this won't take too long to change.

Anyway, my CD4 streamline is now:

1st: 282
2nd: 610
3rd: 608
4th: 406


1st viral load: 110,000+
2nd viral load: 86

The results were just texted to me, so I don't have any validity whether this tremendous drop is real or not. I'm just worrying why in the world this happened? Am I too stressed and depressed or my ARV's are no longer working? With the viral load still *NOT* undetectable after taking the potent Efavirenz for almost 2 years... I'm just worrying to much.

4 comments:

Anonymous { Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 1:49:00 PM GMT+8 }
i like data...hehe..mine were 351 then 702; vl was almost 1m+ when i started then drop to 600. anyway were still contagious...hehe...
thats neat that they text it to right away
Anonymous { Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 8:38:00 AM GMT+8 }
your numbers are normal if the 2nd set was taken soon after start of treatment. there is usually a big drop in VL and a significant rise in cd4 one to two months after start of treatment. if you are tested again in after the 3rd or 4th month, your VL should go down to undetectable (often noted as "less than 70" or with more sensitive instruments "less than 20"). cd4 numbers tend to be lower early in the morning than later in the afternoon. this is probably why RITM has a 10AM cut-off, to be on the more cautious side of things, since you want your cd4 to be above 200 as soon as possible.
Anonymous { Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 8:41:00 AM GMT+8 }
just to give you an example, i started at VL 275,000 and cd4 at 60. after one month of treatment, VL went down to 700 and cd 4 up to 135. medyo slow cd4 ko coz i am older than you are and i found out my status later than you probably did. but now i am UD, and cd4 is up to 300+ na, after two years. no illnesses so far.
Anonymous { Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 8:44:00 AM GMT+8 }
oh, VL 86... that is ok now. when people first started checking VL's "less than 200" was considered UD na. the fact that your VL is 86 at ths point only means that the instrument used to check your VL is highly sensitive na, assuming it is an accurate reading. but you really should be happy, most instruments report "less than 70" or "less than 20" as UD these days.