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T-Cell Count During Routine HIV Testing?
Nov 6, 2004

Thank you all for your ongoing help & support.

I underwent regular HIV testing for 10+ years prior to my recent diagnosis. I could have had a long history of my Tcells documented.

I understand they may fluctuate but I have to say my doctor also knew my sexual habits.

I am curious as to why there seems to be so much emphasis on what one's Tcell count is prior to HIV infection/seroconversion?

Upon my diagnosis, the big question became my Tcell count and "set-points, baseline, etc..." along with VL. I can even remember the puzzled look on her face when she mentioned not knowing my Tcell count prior to my becoming HIV+.

Many people are tested regularly for HIV before any diagnosis is ever made.

If this is based on science - If it is truly helpful in knowing one's Tcell count prior to diagnosis/seroconversion, why not measure it during routine HIV tests?

Thanks!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

T cell counts are not part of normal blood counts (CBC) that most of us get during routine doctor visits, or even when tested for HIV infection. The main reason is going to be cost and that insurance carriers would not cover such a cost. Thus, unless there real medical issues that require this test outside of HIV infection (like transplantation), it would be unlikely this would ever be incorporated into routine medical care prior to a HIV diagnosis.



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