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CD4, AIDS and Immunizations
Jan 1, 2006

I understand that there are a store of CD4 in the body that are used to produce new copies of CD4 that have the "memory" of previous illnesses faught.

If a person's CD4 count lowers significantly enough as to deplete the stores of the CD4 which are used to clone new CD4, due to HIV, is it posible to assist the body in fighting off future infections from common illnesses by getting immunizations to these illnesses (ie MMR, Polio, etc) once the body has produced enough new CD4 while on HAART? If not, why?

Thanks for your help!

Response from Dr. Pierone

The repertoire of CD4 lymphocyte mediated memory becomes somewhat curtailed as a result of HIV infection. But after initiation of HAART and CD4 count reconstitution the ability of the immune system to respond to vaccines does improve considerably. This is actually one of the strategies that we use in the management of HIV infection. Sometimes we defer indicated vaccines until after initiation of antiretroviral therapy for this specific reason.



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