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Can I do anything to raise my CD4 count

Jan 25, 2003

Dear Doctor:

My partner's CD4 count on his last visit droped from 975 to 775. His CD4 count the time before that was at 1050 and droped to 975. This time is VL went up to 145 which before that was undetectable. He is taking Viracept and Combivir. We both have been told that anything over 350 is still a good number; however, we are worried about it droping over the last 8 months. Is there anything that he can do to help keep this at a high number. Also, do you see any concern with his VL going up to 145. We know that this is still a very low number but after being undetectable for so long it has us worried. I hope that you can help me with this questions. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

It is important to know what the CD4 percentage is along with the absolute number. The percentage is generally a more stable number over time. If your percentage is stable, then I would not be concerned with the changes in absolute CD4 count yet. There can also be blipping of the viral load above the undetectable threshold. If the percentage of CD4 cells is down and the viral load is higher (say > 1000) on the next set of labs, then I would be concerned that drug failure might be happening. If on the other hand the viral load is again undetectable and CD4 count is stable, then there is nothing to do.

keep us informed
VL, CPR both Negative, Alla antibody tests positive, Low CD4

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