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CD4 vs. Viral Count...
May 3, 2008

I was recently diagnosed with HIV. Just recieving my CD4 count of 545 and awaiting my viral count. My question is what is the difference between the CD4 count and Viral Count??? How do they interact with one another???

Response from Dr. Holodniy

CD4 cells are important cells in your immune system that help control various kinds of infections. They are also the cells that become infected with the HIV virus and as a result of infection yo begin to lose CD4 cells over time. A normal CD4 count in someone without HIV infection is about 500-1500. So your count is in the normal range. Another number you want to follow is the CD4 percent. That is a more stable number over time. The normal range is about 30-50%. The viral load measures how much HIV is in your blood. It is usually expressed as copies/mL. A high viral load is > 100,000/mL. Both test results are used to determine whether HIV treatment is indicated (usually when the CD4 is < 350) and to follow the effectiveness of HIV treatment.



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