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What does CD8 count mean?

Oct 27, 2013

Hello, I just started meds a month ago, my viral load dropped to 900 and I got the below lab result. I understand that a CD 4 count of 780 is good, but the lab flagged it as L for low and CD8 count as H for high. What is the significance of a high CD8 count and the ratio? Thanks

CD4 Cells (Helper) L21%

CD4 Cells Absolute (Helper) 780/uL

CD8 Cells (Suppressor) H65%

CD8 Cells Absolute (Suppressor) H2410/uL

CD4 Cells/CD8 Cells (Helper/Suppressor R L0.32

Response from Dr. Holodniy

In general, a person without HIV infection has about the same number of CD4 cells and CD8 cells. When someone becomes HIV infected, the virus infects the CD4 cells which leads to a decline in CD4 count, and as a reaction to infection, the CD8 count increases. Both of these events lead to a decrease in the CD4/CD8 cell ratio. The numbers you list are very typical for someone with HIV infection.

VL in the blood vs. VL in the organs

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