You may remember the essay I wrote about HIV and smoking Poz Smokers and the Facts. You may also remember that the report I cited mentioned that there is evidence that smoking negates some of the effects of antiretroviral medications. I now have some personal experience that may boost the credibility of that study.
My last T-cell (CD4) count was taken on October 10, 2009. The count was 583 cmm, which is pretty good. Normal is considered anywhere from 400-1400, and my T-cell numbers had been hovering in the high 500's for about a year. I quit smoking on October 19, 2009. When I got my last T-cell counts in January, 2010, they were an unbelievable 903!
Do I think that quitting smoking was directly responsible for that jump? I think it played a large part and I can find no other lifestyle change between those two tests. Do I think my counts will stay that high? I'm optimistic and so is my doctor, but only time will tell.
I do know that I feel better - more energy, more focus and a better sense of well-being. Will it continue? I'll let you know. In the meantime, does anyone else have any similar experiences? I'd love to hear about them.