Discussions that mention septra

HIV/AIDS Living With board


Hi there, sorry to hear your cousin is feeling so sick.

So the two numbers you gave are his HIV viral load as well as his CD4 count. The former gives an idea of how much virus is actually in the blood, and the second is a number which correlates very well with how severe the person's disease is. The longer a person has HIV, the lower his CD4 will be. A normal CD4 is anywhere from 500-800. In general, a person infected with HIV who progresses will end up having his CD4 count drop by about 100/year.

AIDS is a term that is somewhat antiquated. Technically, AIDS is defined as someone who is HIV+ and has an AIDS defining illness. These are illnesses seen with advanced HIV infection and include (but not limited to): Pneumocystis pneumonia (for which he is on Septra for), Toxoplasma encephalitis, esophageal candidiasis, CMV retinitis etc. Your cousin likely doesn't have any of these. The second is the absolute CD4 count of <200 which your cousin DOES have and that is how he meets the definition of AIDS or advanced HIV infection.

First of all, with treatment (which he has to take for life and always be compliant with) the viral load can fully be suppressed in the blood and his CD4 count can go back in to a semi-normal range. And with anti-HIV treatment, his susceptibility to those weird infections will be highly reduced once his CD4 count is >300.