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cd4/8 results up

May 27, 2002

I have been on trizivir for three years - initial VL 18,000 and tcell 500 - after two years tcell up to 800 with cd4/8 ratio of 45-52 and VL jumping from under 50 to 200 but would always go down to under 50 or at 100 with retest (my dr was not concerned). Now in my third year my latest results showed VL under 50 - TCELLS 1,200 and my cd4/8 ratio was 1.1 - my dr was not available for the appointment and spoke with nurse who was not real clear on explaining the huge increase to 1.2 but stated it was "good". I have started eating better, exercising, quit smoking/drinking and partying and it obviously is helping! Can you explain the benefit and/or help me to realize what the cd4/8 numbers actually mean? thanks in advance, G

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Looks like you have had a great response to trizivir. In people WITHOUT HIV infection, there are usually more CD4 cells and less CD8 cells. This is expressed as a ratio of CD4 to CD8 cells. The ration is usually around 1.0 to 1.5. In people WITH HIV infection, the CD4 cells become infected and decrease and the CD8 cells increase in response to infection. By decreasing the CD4 count and increasing the CD8 count the ratio is now less than 1.0 With treatment this trend in HIV infection reverses towards the normal ratio.

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