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CD4/CD8 Ratio
Jun 12, 2004

What is the relevance of the CD4/CD8 ratio in HIV positive patients. My wife just got her CD4 and viral load counts today. She is pregnant, and her CD4 counts were rather low (318) even though her viral load was also very low (1400). Is it true that pregnancy suppressess the CD4 counts, in addition to the HIV? How suppressed is the immune system in normal pregnant women?

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello and thanks for posting. The CD4/CD8 ratio is important because it provides an alternate method to estimate the immune status of people with HIV infection. Very often absolute CD4 counts are quite variable, but the CD4/CD8 ratio fluctuates less and may be a more consistent measure of immune function. .

The immune system is suppressed to a minor extent in pregnant women, but CD4 counts are not impacted to any significant degree. The standard of care for HIV-infected pregnant women is to treat with antiretrovirals in order to reduce the risk of transmission of infection to their infants.

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