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CD8 Increase Over CD4

Sep 27, 2004

I was infected with HIV in Dec 2003. My viral load has been undetected without meds. My CD4 count has been between 677 to 1100 with the CD4% of 36% - 45% and the CD4/CD8 % being 1.3 over the course the past 9 months (I have taken many test through 2 specialist and a research program). The drs believe that I may be non-progressor. However, I just received current test results where my CD8 count is higher than my CD4 count 778 vs 796 and the ratio is .98. This is the first test result like this. Does this mean the virus is building in me and the CD8 are fighting it? Does it mean that my VL will now go up making me progressor? The research dr said dont worry about it. Well I am. Can you help me out and tell me what this means and if I will now progress in me. Thanks

Response from Dr. Holodniy

An increase in CD8 cells is a natural reaction to HIV infection. I never react to one set of lab tests, particularly if they indicate a change. I always repeat them to see whether the difference was an anomaly or is truly a significant change. I could not predict at this point about long term nonprogression. In your case, your immune system has demonstrated it's ability to contain the infection on it's own for now. I agree with the research doctor.

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