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Unexpected CD4 % trend
Mar 19, 2005

Hi, Dr. Holodniy:

Thank you for your outstanding forum.

I have been HIV poz for three years. Lowest CD4 count was 600, which was three months after infection. Lowest CD4 percent was 34% a year after infection and in the 44 to 48% range since. Most recent CD4 percent was highest ever - 52%...three years into this disease, CD4's 1,020.

I had thought that CD4 percents went down every year....how usual or unusual are my numbers and trends and how significant? I'd be glad for them, except that I have had bad symptoms since day one...could this be due to an overactive immune system?

Many thanks.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

If you are not receiving HIV treatment, then you are definitely in the minority with those excellent CD4 counts and percentages. You don't indicate your viral load, but I suspect it is on the low side or undetectable. The loss of CD4 cells over time is based on older natural history studies in the absence of treatment. There exists a small percentage (<5%) who maintain stable high CD4 counts like yours and do not progress. Your symptoms may indeed be related to an active immune system.



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