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T-cell count upon death

Sep 10, 2005

I am newly diagnosed and am learning all I can about being poz. I have a T-cell question: I have been told that when your T-cell count goes below 350 is when medication is commonly introduced. A 250 count is when it turns into AIDS. What is the count upon death?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

AIDS is usually defined by a CD4 count of < 200 or < 14%. The count at the time of death is a difficult question to answer today, nor one you should be concerned about. Natural history studies where patients did not receive effective HIV treatment indicated that most people died of HIV associated complications (usually infections or cancers) with CD4 counts < 50. Today, with effective treatment, very few people in the U.S. would have this kind of outcome. Most taking HIV meds will have long and relatively healthy lives and death is more likely to result from other causes and unrelated to CD4 counts.



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