|CD4, CD4% Changes Over Time
Mar 30, 2008
Dear Dr. Holodniy,
I have been reviewing the information posted on The Body web page about CD4 counts and VL and have a few questions. I hope you can help me because I find contradictory evidence among the questions posted in the forums.
1. What is the typical change in CD4 - CD4% over time for somebody infected with HIV but not undertaking treatment?. I undertand the CD4 count basically depends on the VL. I also understand after VL set up the CD4 and CD4% will decrease over time. Is this right?
2. It is possible/common for the VL to set up at undetectable levels and the CD4 and CD4% to increase over time without treatment?
3. What is the difference between CD4% and CD4/CD8 ratio? I understand CD4% is the percentage of total lymphocites that are CD4 and CD4/CD8 is the proportion of CD4 relative to CD8. Which of these two measures is more reliable in terms of HIV progression?
Thanks in advance for your answers.
| Response from Dr. Holodniy
1. The average loss of CD4 count is around 50-70 per year, and the percent loss is around 3% per year. Your are correct in your other assumptions. 2. Viral load can be undetectable without treatment. The CD4 count/percent can increase, but this usually happens after acute infection and less likely later on. 3. You are correct in your definitions. In my opinion, CD4%.
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