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cd4 percentage of 9% - concern?
May 21, 2005

I have been on a drug holiday for four years. My cd4 counts have steadily gone from 800 to 270. My cd4 percentage has steadily gone from 28% to 9%. When it got to 14% (over a year ago), I told my doctor that I was concerned since the definition of AIDS is a cd4 percentage of less than 14. He responded "percentage perschmentage - it doesn't matter". During my drug holiday my viral load has been between 10,000 and 37,000 (last test). Last week I insisted that I start HAART. My question: was I wrong, or should I have waited until my cd4 absolute went to 200 (as my doctor suggested) and just ignored the percentage count?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

In short, I'd definitely be concerned about not being on treatment with a CD4 percentage of 9. I don't agree with your doctor that percentage is irrelevant-- indeed, anything less than 15 is considered AIDS by the Centers for Disease Control's criteria.

So, I agree that resuming treatment is indicated. Waiting around for lower counts means to me that you might be waiting around for a serious health condition to occur.

Good luck, BY



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