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Meaning of Helper / Suppressor Ratio

Nov 25, 2006

I've been tracking my labs over the last nine months since I found out I was HIV positive, and understand all of them except the helper/suppressor ratio. When I look it up I just get a simple definition, but am wondering which way, directionally, is better? In other words, is it better if it's less than 1.0 or if it's greater, and why is that?

Thanks, David

Response from Dr. Holodniy

In general, in someone without HIV infection the CD4/CD8 ratio is between 1 and 2. With HIV infection, 2 things are happening, the CD4 cell count goes down and the CD8 cell count goes up. Both of those aspects contribute to a decreasing ratio that is usually < 1 with HIV infection, although not always.

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