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Average annual CD4 decline

Apr 16, 2006

Hello.. I was recently diagnosed positive and my CD4 is 974, CD4+% = 40%, and viral load <400. My doctor says that I don't have to start meds now and he has asked me go for another labs in 3 months.. I'm concerned as to how fast CD4 count decrease annually? Is there an average range of decline? I'm worried that I'll have to start taking meds soon!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

In older natural history studies (in the absence of treatment) the average annual CD4 decline is about 50-75 cells/year. I agree with your doctor that treatment is not indicated now and 3 months is the appropriate time frame to look at your numbers again. Given your essentially normal CD4 count and undetectable viral load is unlikely you will experience the average decline, as your immune system appears to be containing the virus on its own.

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