As I mentioned the other day, I got a CD4 Count of 675 on my last labs. Now, I have the other result we were waiting for....an UNDETECTABLE viral load! Woohoo! This is such great news, and it is such a relief to reach this landmark. It took me 4.5 months on treatment to do this... starting at the maximum viral load (>10 million) and now ending at the minimum (undetectable or <50)!
* A bit of information about "Undetectable": Having an undetectable viral load means that the level/amount of virus in your blood sample is so low that it falls under the measurable range. This does not mean that you are cured of HIV. Nor does it mean that you have "0" virus in your blood or other fluids. It simply means that your body is in good controlof the virus, and the amount of virus has been significantly reduced. Because you have less of the virus in you, you may not be as infectious as you would be with a higher viral load. However, even with an undetectable viral load, a HIV+ person may still pass the virus to others. The goal of treatment for all HIV+ people is to decrease the viral load and hopefully get it to an undetectable level. Most of the medicines today do a great job of accomplishing this, and most HIV+ people can reach this goal. Once the viral load is undetectable, it also gives your body's immune system a chance to improve, and your CD4 count to go up. *
This is not only good news for my health, but both of these results now put me at the level which Peace Corps has set for any HIV+ volunteer to be considered. Now I need to hold these numbers steady for multiple months to prove that I am in stable health. Peace Corps Medical Office, start counting...
I am 28. White. A Female. And a former Peace Corps Volunteer. I am HIV Positive. This is my story of how a few months, a few people, and a few events in Zambia changed me and my life forever. This is the story of how I contracted HIV and brought my Peace Corps Journey to a crashing halt... and how I am working now to pick up and put back together the pieces of my life as a newly diagnosed person living with HIV. This was not the journey I had originally planned... my path has traumatically and dramatically changed... but it is the one I am on now. There is no going back. There is only forward. I welcome you to follow along with me as I attempt to explore this new life ahead of me, whether you are someone from the Peace Corps community, or someone living with HIV. I welcome your comments, questions, suggestions, and opinions. Let us go forward together. To start from the beginning, click here He Gave Me More Than A Bracelet.