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relationship between HIV and NK cells

Jun 22, 2003

Dr. Holodniy,

I am sorry to raise this question again, but your expertise and advice on the following issue would be truly appreciated:

My labs show amazingly low natural killer cell numbers and percentages, while the CD4 count is normal, CD4/CD8 ratio low and VL undetectable.

Can you please explain the significance of the above and what it says about the state of my immune system? Does HIV kill NK cells as it does CD4's? Is it common to have normal CD4 counts, but very, very low NK counts and percentages?

What are the implications and effect of low NK levels in disease progression? Anything you can recommend here...for example, is there treatment to boost NK levels or function?

Also, can you please explain why, if NK cells are important to immune function, they are not monitored or discussed more often in treatment of HIV?

Sorry for all the question, but I am really hoping to hear from you. Thank you very much.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I think I jsut answered this question.

Skyrocketing VL, Plummeting CD4
T-Cell/Viral Load Graph

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