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Understanding Your LabsUnderstanding Your Labs
           
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Help understand lab results
Mar 15, 2009

My brother was recently diagnosed and has a CD4 absolute of 444 and a CD4% of 17. Something labled "HIV TAQMAN/HIV RNA QUANT" is 189,000. He doesn't have any idea what any of this means. Are these good or bad numbers? He has an appointment with his doctor on Friday but is having a hard time waiting to discuss the results.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Sounds like he may have had the appointment. The HIV RNA test or HIV viral load measures how much HIV is circulating in the blood. A viral load of 189,000 is high. A CD4 count of 444 is relatively good. The normal range in someone who is not infected is 500-1500. However, the CD4% is low, normal range is about 30-50%. Taken together, and although there is no urgency, these results indicate that HIV treatment is likely to be recommended.



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