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CD4 fell from 525 to 265 in 8 months (CD4 count versus CD4%, 2011)
Jul 7, 2011

Hello doc, I got detected hiv+ in Dec 2008 with HIV-1 subtype B, i was negative till july 2008. I got my first cd4 and vl test in March 2009 and my cd4 - 750 and cd% -28% and VL- 34k I have got resistance to emtricitabine and lanivudine. Then I did my 2nd check really late in oct 2010 my cd -525, vl -55k and cd4%-14%. then I did my check on april 2011, my cd4 dropped to 325 and vl -76k and cd%-14% then i got tested on june 2011 my cd4 went down to 265 and vl 35k and cd% 15.7%. I am dead scared, am i reinfected? I never fell ill in this duration. i only did oral unprotected couple of times. My Id told me, it does worry him that cd4 count is dropping unless I had some infection. I dont know how to go ahead with it and my doc appointment is this month end. Please advice me. Thank you very much in advance. Regards,

Response from Dr. Frascino


Are you on antiretroviral therapy? If not, you should be.

It's worth noting that despite the somewhat worrisome drop in absolute CD4 count, your CD4% has remained stable (in fact slightly increased) over the last three blood draws (October 2010, April 2011 and June 2011), ranging from 14% to 15.7%. The CD4%, compared to the absolute CD4 count, is a more accurate measure of immune competence as it varies less from test to test. See link below.

I would suggest you consult your HIV specialist for a complete evaluation to ascertain if there is an intercurrent illness or some other problem that might account for your declining absolute CD4 count. As mentioned above, I would also encourage you to begin antiretroviral therapy without further delay, if you have not already done so.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Why CD4 goes down while CD4% goes up (ABSOLUTE CD4 COUNT VERSUS CD4%, 2009) Apr 7, 2009

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