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Can you answer a couple of questions
Mar 16, 2003

Can someone with t cell count of 325, 21 and a viral load under 1000, and who is not taking any meds get sick with an opportunistic infection related to HIV? What kind of infections can happen in this range? Also, if someone has a low viral load does that mean they will progress slow to AIDS?

Response from Dr. Young

While viral load determines the risk of disease progression, a low viral load does not mean that there is no risk of developing an opportunistic infection.

For persons with CD4 cell counts between 200-500, there is an increased risk of certain types of infection-- namely, bacterial pneumonia, herpes zoster (shingles), oral Candidal infections (thrush) and Kaposi's sarcoma (a viral cancer). There also appears to be an increased risk of some non-infectious complications, particularly cervical cancers and lymphomas.

In general, the OIs associated with very low CD4 cell counts (AIDS) are not seen in persons with CD4 counts above 200, but this is not an absolute rule.

I hope you find this helpful. -BY


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