Apr 27, 2013
My husband was diagnosed with HIV two weeks ago. A week away from his appointment with a specialist, he is so sick he is put in the hospital and diagnosed with AIDS. I am aware of normal CD4 counts, but not percentages. I am also not aware of CD3 counts or percentages. My husband had a CD4 count of 10 and a percentage of 2. His CD3 count was 444 and percentage is 69. Is there anyway that you could explain this to me? How much longer does he have left if meds are started in the next week? What are his chances? I know his CD4 count is drastically low, and I didn't even realize it was this low, but I have no idea how to grasp it. Please explain the other counts and percentages as well if possible.
Response from Dr. Holodniy
A normal CD4 count and percent is 500-1500 and 30-50%. A diagnosis of AIDS usually means someone has a CD4 count of < 200 or < 14%. So, yes his counts are very low and he is at risk for various kinds of opportunistic infections. The CD3 count measures all t cells, which is essentially CD4 + CD8 cells. The CD8 cells are the major cell involved in fighting HIV infection. Given his very low CD4 count, the majority of the CD3 cells are currently made up of CD8 cells. The good news is much of this is reversible, in that, if he starts HVI treatment ASAP, it will get the virus under control and his CD4 count and percent will slowly start to rise over the coming weeks to months.
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