Jul 29, 2012
I have have been diagnosed hiv+ three years ago (august 2009) and got infected in feb. 2008. My viral has been quite low along the way -- from undetectable, to 300, to 900, to undetectable again, then 200 and now around 300. My CD4 has also going up and down -- started with 630, has been to 1000, then 365, then 700, and now at 468. My CD4% started at 23% and has kept at the same level until my last exam -- is set at 16,5% now. My CD8% is at 63%. I have not started medication yet. Have gone to few different doctors here in Brazil, including those supposed to be the very best ones, but no one seems to really care about my CD4%. Shoul I worry? Should I think about starting medication? The % is low, right? What does that mean?
Response from Dr. Holodniy
Yes, the CD4% is low. A normal CD4 count is 500-150 and normal CD4% is 30-50%. AIDS is defined a someone with a CD4 count < 200 or < 14%. So 16.5% is quite low. Your doctors are likely reacting to the low viral load and relatively high CD4 count, as an indication that you are still in good shape and don't require meds. I don't think I would react to one CD4% being low either. If however, your CD4% is still low or lower on the next set of labs, even if your viral load is low, I would suggest starting treatment.
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