Thanks Gecko! One reason I keep the thread going is to maintain my sanity. The other is education for survivors affected by HIV. One reason I got here was, following the CSA, my adolescent mind figured my only value was as a sex object and I carried that with me for years.

The best explanation I've found on CD4 and the like:

Lymphocites are white blood cells and they fight off infection. CD4 cells are lymphocites that initiate the immune response in other cells (CD8). Roughly, if the alarm system (CD4) is knocked out, no 911 call goes out to the police (CD8). Or, no immune response to infection.

CD4 count is typically 500-1600. CD4% is the percentage of lymphocites that are CD4 cells, typically about 40%.

Viral load is a measurement of HIV copies in blood, if you will, the number of bad guys. Obviously, the fewer, the better. "Undetectable" doesn't mean there's no HIV. It's just the limitations of the test (currently about 50 copies). And it can remain hidden in the lymphatic system, brain, etc. Two good reasons to maintain consistent HAART (highly active antiretroviral) therapy.

Treatment has significantly reduced the number of bad guys. In my case - can't resist math - for every 770 attackers, only one is left...and that's why I was in total shock at the results. The alarm system will naturally start to be fixed (mitosis, if you remember high school biology), communicaton is being restored, and the police team will be able to respond to threats normally. That takes a while, at minimum a year.

Edited by Lancer (03/04/13 07:50 AM)
Edit Reason: More accurate CD4 analogy!