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Sharp drop in CD4 Count..
Apr 3, 2011

Hi!

I am 26yrs old and I was diagnosed as HIV positive around the end of December 2010 (about 3 months ago).

I had all my tests done then and the results were:

CD4 percentage: 42.00 CD4 Absolute: 678.00 CD8 percentage: 38.00 CD8 Absolute: 612.00 CD4/CD8 Ratio: 1:1 Viral Load: 1,648

After the first three months i recently got another test done and my results are:

CD4 percentage: 29.00 CD4 Absolute: 495.00 CD8 percentage: 42.00 CD8 Absolute: 710.00 CD/CD8 Ratio: 0:7 Viral Load: 2,836

My CD4 count, both percentage and absolute, have fallen considerably in three months after being diagnosed and i am extremely concerned about that. Is such a significant drop normal so early after being diagnosed? Is there anything i can do for it not to drop so sharply?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

A new diagnosis does not necessarily mean a new infection. You don't indicate whether you have had previous HIV tests and were negative and are newly positive, indicating infection was recent, or that you had never tested before and the length of infection is unknown. If the duration of infection is unknown then it is possible that this is a real drop. In general, that is a significant decline, and certainly for only 3 months with such a low viral load. I think you need another set of numbers to see whether you are stabilizing or continuing to go down. I would also request a resistance test to see whether your viral strain is resistant to any of the HIV drugs. This test is important if the trend indicates you need to start HIV treatment.



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