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Why can't we change the definition of AIDS
Sep 26, 2009

I would like to thank you for your time and help. We all know by now that the absolute CD4 can vary a lot due to temporary underlying conditions or time of the day etc. while the CD4% is more stable and less vulnerable to such conditions. Consequently I assume that a person absolute CD4 can go below 250 today and in a week time goes back to 400 or even 500, If we follow up the reasoning it means that someone has AIDS today (due to some underlying conditions other than HIV) and tomorrow is not. Why dont we base a definition of AIDS that incorporate three or four conditions such as (Viral load, CD4 and CD4% at a certains level, plus a fourth condition like illness? in this case we are sure about the classification and we avoid a tremendous stress for people. Your input is highly appreciated. Thanks

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Three of your 4 of conditions are already included in the definition of AIDS. A CD4 count of < 200, or CD4% < 14%, or documented evidence of an AIDS defining illness (pneumocystis pneumonia, etc), regardless of CD4 count. Viral load does not add something to the mix.



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