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Does antibiotic or an infection alter CD4 and viral load results?
Dec 20, 2006

Dear Dr. Mark Holodniy

I have been positive since an year and am not on medications. My CD4 values over one year has evolved as 474(23%),477(24%),575(25.5%) and 495(21%). Respective viral load values have been 794,5500,1500,3600. CD8 has been sort of constant at about 1200-1300 in absolute number and percentage has varied over a mean value. My concern is the latest CD4 percentage of 21% although the absolute value looks reasonable. One week before giving blood for this corresponding test, I had completed taking a course of antibiotics due to an inflammation in the gums caused by a tooth problem. Could you please throw some light if the low CD4% of 21% (a drop of 4% in 6 months)is due to this infection/antibiotic treatment I had or if it is a natural degradation? Also what effect does infections and antibiotic treatments have on the viral load results? Further, is it possible to state if I have any chance of being a slow progressor or long term non-progressor by looking at this one year baseline values that appear to have low viral loads?

Many thanks in advance for your time and support.

Kris

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Antibiotics will not affect the result. An acute infection can affect the CD4 count. Given the prior consistent numbers, it is likely that on repeat your numbers will be back to baseline.



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