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Understanding labs and HIV diagnostic
Mar 2, 2014

Hello doctor! I hope you are doing great. I recently had an ELISA test in a hospital and it threw positive results. After that, I was officially diagnosed with the HIV (I don't know if that's normal... not doing a confirmatory test). I was very shocked because I was not expecting this result since I haven't have any risk relation.

Anyways, one day after I went with an specialist and sent me two additional tests: CD4 Count + PCR Qualitative. It is important to mention that those were not made on the city where I live since they don't have the technology; those were sent to a laboratory in the USA.

Today I had my results and are as follows:

TEST NAME: Lymphocyte Subset Panel 4 In Range: 1109 Out of Range: - Reference Range: 850-3900 cells uL

PHENOTYPING T-Lymphocyte Subsets CD4, Absolute Out of Range: 180L (Reference range: 490-1,740 ells uL) CD4 Percentage Out of Range: 16L (Reference range: 30-61%)

CD8 Absolut In range: 410 (Reference range: 180-1170 cells uL) CD8 Percentage In range: 37 (Reference range 12-42%)

CD4/CD8 Ratio: 0.4L (Reference range 0.86-5.00)

HIV-1 DNA, Qual PCR: DETECTED (Reference Range: Not detected)

What do you think about my results? I have been struggling even about the type my diagnosis was made. I don't know if it is my fear of not wanting to accept the results or I should be really questioning the diagnosis.

Thanks in advance!

Regards

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Given that the qualitative HIV DNA test is positive and that the CD4 count is significantly reduced, the diagnosis of HIV infection is likely correct. In fact the CD4 is < 200 and indicates an AIDS diagnosis. HIV treatment and antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent serious other infections is required at this time. I would also suggest getting an HIV viral load test and resistance test if available to make sure that the HIV meds you will be starting are effective.



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