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Test Variations

Mar 17, 2002

Doctors: I have been hiv for over twelve years. I know how long, because like many people, I broke out in a rash at infection. I am in good health - t-cells range from 900 to 1100, and am undectable. I am taking meds and tolerate them well. I realize that with these counts my health is not in jeopardy, but my question is: When I have blood drawn for test done in the morning, my t-cell count is closer to 900, when blood drawn in evening, it is closer to 1100. Can time of day have anything to do with the results? What other factors occuring on testing day may change results? Having the 1100 count does wonders for me emotionally. Thank you

Response from Dr. Holodniy

You have discovered diurnal variation in t cells. Indeed they can be higher in the afternoon. This is a normal variation, which has nothing to do with HIV infection. In advanced HIV infection, this difference is blunted. Other factors that could affect t cell counts include stress, some medications, intercurrent illnesses, some recreational drugs among others. MH

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