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CD4 vs. CD8

Aug 24, 2003

I am having some difficulty with understanding my lab results. My CD4 and CD4s have been climbing and I have been told this is wonderful news (I am on meds). But my CD8 results are also climbing right along with the climb of CD4 counts. When reading information on CD8 I have read that if your meds are working effectively your CD4 counts should rise and the CD8 should drop. But, I thought CD8 was a predictor of how well your immune system was working to control HIV - so shouldn't it climb along with the CD4 counts? Please help - I am very confused.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

It is confusing. You will not see profound drops in CD8 counts with treatment. You may see a modest decline over time, as less total body virus is present with successful treatment. But you will still have circulating cells that are infected, although not producing virus, that still signal the body that infection is still present, and hence the need to CD8 cells to be present.

no antibodies = high viral load?
re. antibodies and viral load

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