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Can a decline in CD4 cont be stopped?
Dec 7, 2003

I live in Southern Africa and have found your site a source of very useful info as well as inspiration. I would be grateful if you could advise me.

A close friend has tested pos in June with a CD4 count of 450 and VL of 9,900. He says that his doctor told him that his CD4 count will decline by about 50-100 per year, with a corresponding increase in VL.

Is there anything he can do (aside from taking meds)to improve on his CD4 count and to force a drop in VL.

Also what is the "ideal" percentage CD4 count in a Positive person not taking treatment?

Thanks in advance

Response from Dr. Young

Thank you for your question.

When approaching this question, the essential thing to note is that saddly, the only factor associated with the restoration of immune function in persons with HIV has been combination therapy with antiretroviral medications.

That said, there is much that can be done to improve the general health prognosis-- focus on a balanced diet (safe food and water fall into this category), appropriate vaccinations, safe sex, safe drugs, avoidance of excessive alcohol or tobacco and exercise, for example. These factors won't really improve CD4 counts or viral loads, but can improve health.

Lastly, the "ideal" CD4 count is a moving target, but I don't worry much about patients whose CD4 is greater than 350. BY

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