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Can they tell?
Mar 22, 2002

Dear Dr, I was recently infected (6 months back) but am not on medication as yet. VL 25K with CD4 570. My question is that I have been accepted in a job interview and has been asked to go for a basic blood test (CBC). This is for insurance coverage provided by the company. I'm worried that there could be abnormality found on my CBC if I were to go for the test and the abnormalities will be able to be picked up by them. Can you pls tell me whether all HIV ers will have an abnormal CBC ie higher white blood cell , Neuthophil, Lymphocyte and Monocyte? I have read somewhere regarding how common HIV ers will have higher counts of WBC. Is that true? What is the general trend on CBC for HIV ers? I know that you have mentioned dozens of time that a CBC test cannot tell whether an individual being infected by HIV but in my case I have already been infected and I'm worried the CBC will not be the same compared to a healthy individual and in this case, they might ask me to go for a more detailed test or worst they will refuse to employ me. Pls answer this question of mine as I'm due for the blood test in 5 days time and I really need this job in order for me to survive. Thank You and God Bless.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

It is possible that your complete blood count MAY show a decrease in red or white blood cells or a decrease in platelets. With a CD4 cell count over 500, if there are any such general abnormalities, they should be of minimal importance and shouldn't affect your ability to be hired. It is also possible that your CBC will be entirely normal Since there's nothing you can do about it one way or the other, ask for a copy of the test results for your own records. That way, if there is any minor abnormality, you can discuss it with your own doctor and decide how you want to respond if your prospective employer raises any questions or concerns. Good luck!


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