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Relationship of CD4 percentage to actual count

May 23, 2010

Hi Dr. Holodniy. Thanks again for all of your valuable insight on this board.

Another quarter, another set of labs. My CD4 has bounced from 145 to 117 to 151 the last six months. My CD4 percentage has gone from 11 to 12 and now 10%. I know the numbers will vary a bit, but just curious why my actual count went up yet the percentage number went down. Wouldn't the percentage number continue to rise if my immune system was recovering? Diagnosed a year now (started CD4 at 78, 6%) and undetectable with Atripla, which I take during the day. (I'm one of the odd ones, I know, but Sustiva doesn't bother me!)

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Yes, your numbers are bouncing a bit. I am not too concerned about the slight decrease in CD4%, which is within assay variability. Given where your count was a year ago, and that your viral load is undetectable, you will see your CD4 count/percent continue to increase.

cd4 and HAART
Increasing Viral Load

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