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Sudden drop in CD4 Count
Apr 8, 2007

Hello. I was diagnosed HIV+ in Fall of 2005. My CD4 count in July 2006 was 702/VL = 12,000, in Nov 2006 CD4 was 645/VL=12,000. Suddenly, in Mar 2007 my CD4 dropped to 256/VL = 9,000.

Given the sudden drop, what do you suggest?


Response from Dr. Young

There are a lot of reasons why CD4 counts can fluctuate- this is the natural trend in the HIV disease process. in the short term, though decreases can be causes by transient things that activate the immune system, some as innocuous as a cold or sinus infection. An examination of your CD4 percentage can often help clarify this. If absolute CD4 declines are matched by similar declines in percentage, then I'd be concerned. Conversely if the absolute shows a change without a change in the percentage, I generally conclude that the chages are not of great significance (other than to provoke anxiety).

Since there was a rather large drop in your labs, a simple repeat of the test in a couple of weeks can often sort out what's what.

Hope this helps. BY

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