Tag Archive: cd4 count

CD4 Count

It’s took me 3 weeks since my blood sample was extracted for CD4 count to pay H4 a visit to claim the result (and at the same time refill my AZT+3ZT and EFV supply). I was partial happy and disappointed with my most recent count after being on my ARV treatment since October 2011:

May 2010 – 424
February 2011 – 366
August 2011 – 97
May 2012 – 198

There you go. 198. up by 101 from more than six months ago. I’m happy that it went up as it’s a sign that the medication is working. I’m quite disappointed though that my CD4 count didn’t go up as I’ve expected. My lifestyle is to be blamed for this. I haven’t cut down on my smoking and have started consuming alcohol. Wasn’t even taking multivitamins as my doctors prescribe. Although I get ample rest (8-10 hours per day), my sleeping pattern is still incorrect staying up until the wee-morning hours for the sake of going out on dates or chilling out with my friends. I now resolve to correct these unhealthy habits and work on improving my health.

Dra. A is quite happy that the medication is working for me. She explained during my consultation that the count actually varies on a person to person basis and depending on our lifestyle. She reiterated that I need to work on targeting having more than 1,000+ CD4 count. Given that my count is still below 200, she prescribed that I take cotrimoxazole as prophylaxis against pneumonia M-W-F until my count surpasses the borderline level of 350.  She also reminded me to have pneumonia shots every six months and get annual flu vaccination.


Almost two months ago, I finally got my 3rd CD4 count — 97. Officially, I have full-blown AIDS. I have started my medication a week ago and will be posting the details of the recent incidents in the upcoming days.

2nd CD4 count…

I finally got my CD4 count result this afternoon after almost a year. From 424 baseline, my count dropped to 366. Not bad given the mere reduction of 56 despite my stress level. In fact, I can consider myself lucky. Other people loose 200 in three to six months. I guess having a positive outlook in life and being a happy person helped a lot.

I also got my HCV and RPR results. Both are non-reactive. Yay!

Dra. D advised me to go back to H4 next week to consult with Dra. A if I need to start taking ARV medication or not. If I were to choose, I’d rather not take any medications yet until it’s needed.

That’s what my bestfriend reminded me through SMS a few minutes ago. I will have to take a retreat from my lifestyle:

1. Out of town beach trips almost every weekend
2. Inuman with my barkada every Sunday night, or anytime my friends invite me to go out (given that I have work the following day)
3. Date with my partner after work on Tuesday night ’til sunrise (will need to report to work the same morning)
4. Chain smoking
5. Sleep deprivation on weekdays being a hardcore insomniac
6. Stressful nature of my job

I have come to a realization that I’m writing my own death sentence. I have lived by the phrase carpe diem — seize the day; living my life to the fullest. Time is short and given my condition as a pozzie, every minute of my life matters. I have two options — enjoy my colorful bachelor life painted with travel and parties, or take things slow to prolong my life. The prior one is enticing. But I love myself, my family, and my friends. I want to grow old with them thus, I’m gonna need to sacrifice the fun part of my life. Hence on, I resolve to balance things between my health and fun.

Just got back from another beach escapade with my best friend and his buddy somewhere in Visayas. and as of now, I’m having an asthma attack. I smoked too much. During the trip, we just had four to five hours of sleep everyday. When I got back last Sunday, I slept the whole afternoon and then went out with my barkada till the wee hours. Despite the asthma and the medication I’m taking, I still had the guts to smoke and drink with them. These are the things that I need to change. I don’t want to regret what my CD4 count will be in November when I’m going to have my next blood extraction for my routine CD4 count monitoring.

I have started working out. But it’ll be no use if I’m gonna stick to this lifestyle. I have to start taking care of my health and general wellness. Thanks bestie for reminding me. I love you friend!

virgin coconut oil…

Dr. Conrato Dayrit conducted a study in the late 90’s on the medicinal value of Virgin Coconut Oil to AIDS/HIV patients. Somewhat recognized by the international scientific community, taking one tablespoon or 15ml of VCO for three times a day on a daily basis reduced the test subjects’ viral loads and CD4 counts significantly given its antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiprotozoal properties. You may check this website for further details or download Dr. Dayrit’s actual case study here.

After doing further research and countless consultations my medical practitioner peers, it seems that this alternative supplement looks promising. I bought 5 bottles of banana-flavored VCO from the supermaket last week and I have been taking it for three consecutive days now. I’m planning to take this regimen for the upcoming five months until I get my next routine CD4 count. I’m praying and hoping that this will help me maintain my current baseline count and better if it’ll boost up my current immunity level.

my CD4 count…

Finally, I was able to wake up early this morning to go to San Lazaro for my post-laboratory test consultation and to get my CD4 count — my first official OPD day experience. I got at H4 pavillion at around 8am and to my surprise, I was almost the 20th patient in line. The nurse requested for my screen name and patient number for enlistment and then proceeded with the routine monitoring stuff — body weight, body temperature, blood pressure, and pulse rate. After which, I had nothing to do but wait until my name is called. Luckily, the head medical technician from SACCL was invited by the Head doctor to orient people on what CD4 and Viral load testing is all about and their cost implications. A little distraction from boredom. In the middle of her spiel, the nursing assistant called me in to the consultation room.

I handed over my laboratory results to the doctor in charge. After quickly browsing through the figures, she smiled at me and told me that it’s nice that everything’s normal except for the UTI. She wrote me a prescription for ciprofloxacin for my medication and then told me to present her prescription to the nurse at the reception to get my free meds for five days. She handed me another prescription for urinalysis that I need to take once I have completed my medication and told me to drink plenty of fluids, in particular, water.

After our short discussion, the doctor finally handed me the paper containing the result of my CD4 count taken two weeks ago. And to my surprise, it’s just a little below normal — 424. The normal CD4 count of HIV-negative people ranges between 500 and 1600. She told me not to be complacent of my health given that I know that my CD4 count is still high. It’s quite a relief. I left DOH smiling and promising to myself that I won’t risk my health anymore with the my unhealthy lifestyle. Which translates to no more smoking, drinking, stress and sleep deprivation. I need to maintain my CD4 count at that level.