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Very Low TC4 count
Jan 16, 2003

Dear Dr. Young:

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with AIDs when he entered the hospital due to a bout with pnemonia. (He says that leading up to this, he hadn't felt well for awhile but was afraid to be tested for HIV infection. His first lab workup revealed that his TC4 count is only 50 and his viral load is "off the charts." He didn't say what the number was. My question is whether it is likely, with a devout daily taking of his medicines, to get this number up to where he is not so at risk for cancers, etc. He has already had thrush and various skin rashes. Also, if it is likely (I know it's possible), how long should he expect this will take?

Regards, Karen

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

Would certainly seem that your friend has advanced HIV/AIDS. Such persons can definately respond to therapies; indeed several recent studies have shown that persons with low CD4 cell counts (<100) that receive either efavirenz- or Kaletra-based regimens appear to be just as likely to respond as their so-called healthier counterparts.

The timeline to improvements are very individual--but overall, CD4 cell increases between 50-150 cells in the first year (sometimes less, sometimes more) are seen.

The key is finding good healthcare providers, and making as sure as possible to adhere to a potent 3- or 4-drug combination.

Good luck. -BY



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