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more than 100 subtypes of hiv virus???
Oct 15, 1998

Dear Dr, I would like to know how the new discovered subtypes of hiv can be diagnosed and where?Should I tell my doctor to contact an expert virologist? I was reading an article by Dr. Fauci in which he stated that now more than 100 subtypes of the virus have been detected and articles by French doctors that study the progress of the disease in Africa sugget that new types( that cant be detected by current tests) are coming out. Besides, I would like to know where I can find more information on Cd4 depletion .

I am asking for that because after a possible infection three years and a half ago I have experienced a progressive Cd4 depletion that doctors cant explain(I dont do drugs, drink alcohol, or have cancer or anything that can deplete corporal defenses). I have always been a healthy person until I started having problem with unexplained low cd4 counts along with some weird infections , some caused by fungi. I am worry because I think that it is more than stress as a Doctor suggested me. I think that you can have a low cd4 count after an infection, or is you are super stressed but my case goes beyond that. Elisa tests and a VL test didnt show any trace of either antibody or hiv virus...so after two years and a half I am still helpless since the cause of my AIDS-like problem can not be found. Of course, I am glad to have a negaite ELISA; however, I am extremly worry about my low cd4 and cd8 count

I do know that you are a doctor that deals with AIDS diagnosed with a Elisa test ;however, some weird cases of cd4 depletion like mine deserve help too because I am a human being too.

Thanking in advance for your answer.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Subtype analysis requires sophisticated molecular biology testing, that involves sequencing different genes of the virus. A large database has been established to track these sequences and analyze the similarities or differences in the HIV viral strains. This is not generally a test that is offered by clinical reference labs.

There have been and continue to be reported cases of what has been termed CD4 depletion syndrome. Usually diagnosed in people who develop HIV associated infections, with CD4 counts of < 200, and in whom all HIV related tests are negative. It is not clear what may be the cause of this syndrome. I suspect we will find out soon that it is some other virus, yet to be discovered. Good luck.

MH



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