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average rate of cd4 cell decline

Aug 24, 2003

While I understand that some people progress very quickly and some apparently not at all or very slowly, I read recently on another, well respected HIV/AIDS website that untreated individuals cd4 levels decline on average at a rate of approx 50 to 100 per year. Do you consider this an accurate statement.

Secondly, what is considered the margin of error for CD4 count test? My cd4 count dropped by 2 over a two month period between my first and second test 587 - 585, cd4/cd8 ratio changed from 1.36 to 1.23 during the same period. Does this indicate a decline, or is it within the margin of error for the test itself?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The average rate of decline posted at the other site is correct, based on some of the old natural history studies published in the early-mid 1990s. Thus a significant change has always been considered to be an absolute change of 50 CD4 cells or 3% in either direction. Many things affect this number including: time of day, other medications, recreational drug use, stress, other ongoing infections or active medical problems, different laboratories or assays, among others. The change you describe is very insignificant.

recent infection.. vl over 200.000

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