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Cd 4 count
Apr 29, 2008

I just found out that I'm HIV positive , my cd4 count is at 60. Should I be concerned? They haven't started meds other than antibiotics. Am I at risk for other illnesses?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Yes, a CD4 count of 60 is indicative of severe immunodeficiency. A CD4 count that falls below 200 is one of the criteria for an AIDS diagnosis (as opposed to being "HIV positive"). At CD4 counts below 200 the risk of opportunistic infections and malignancies increases significantly. The lower the count, the greater the risk and the broader the range of potential opportunistic illnesses one becomes susceptible to contracting. I would urge you to consult an HIV/AIDS specialist ASAP. Do not delay. The antibiotics you have been started on are most likely being given to help prevent certain opportunistic illnesses. For example Bactrim DS is prescribed to prevent Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). Hopefully your physicians have already drawn blood for an HIV resistance test to see if your particular strain of HIV is resistant to any antiretroviral drugs. This information can be very helpful in assisting your HIV specialist in recommending an antiretroviral drug combination that will be most effective in suppressing HIV replication. As HIV replication is suppressed (hopefully to undetectable levels), your CD4 count should begin to increase. You can read much more about HIV/AIDS on this Web site. I suggest you start with "The Basics," as you seem to have much to learn about the disease. Try not to get scared, but do get informed and don't hesitate in getting an HIV/AIDS specialist involved in your care immediately.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob


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