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What does small decline mean?
May 30, 2006

My sister in law is living with advanced HIV. She had a bout of PCP and CD4 went down to 25 - with treatment this went up to 175 but has now fallen again to 154. Does this decline indicate that the meds are not working, or that things are getting worse again? - any advice very gratefully received. Thank you

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

I don't think that the CD4 change from 175 to 154 is significant. If you take a look at your sister-in-law's CD4% (another way of measuring CD4s), I'd wager that there probably isn't a very big change.

When evaluating the effectiveness of HIV treatment, I rely first on the viral load tests-- if undetectable, then I'm very patient when it comes to expected increases in CD4s.

I hope this is helpful. BY

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