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Starting treatment because of very low number of natural killer cells
Jun 21, 2003

Dr. Young, My CD4 count is OK, but on T cell subsets, I have very, very few natural killer cells and a very low percentage of NKC's. What are the risks and how concerned should I be? Are there ways to boost levels of natural killer cells? Do you recommend starting treatment when there is no detectable viral load, but bad symptoms and VERY few Natural Killer Cells?

I would appreciate your answering this.

Many thanks.

Response from Dr. Young

I am not aware of any literature or clinical opinion on using NK cells as a basis for initiating antiretroviral therapy.

On the other hand, there is quite a bit of literature and opinion that recommends starting antiretroviral therapy for persons with symptomatic HIV infection, irrespective of viral load or CD4 counts. As such, you might be in this situation, if you have "bad" symptoms, and a "normal" CD4 cell count. BY



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