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Can CD4 count bounce back
Jul 20, 2006

I have been recently diagnosed +. I had two days of sleepless night without any appetite. My cd4 count was found to be 360, which I suppose means that I have been infected for a while. During those two days I felt that I have no future anymore. However, since then I have changed my lifestyle, for instance I'm eating healthily and exercise regularly in the hope of boosting my immune system. I have had continuous sinus and re-occuring thrush all the time but being aware I +. All this have been treated by my doctor. The questions are, is there still hope for the future and secondly is possible that cd4 can bounce back without taking any therapies? My doctor has adviced me to take medcnt when cd4 is between 200-250.

Response from Dr. Wohl

In the US most docs consider starting HIV therapy when the CD4 cell count reaches 350 OR when there are signs of HIV disease such as thrush or recurrent infections. The data are clear that starting before the CD4 cell count reaches 200 is best. Some studies suggest that initiating treatment even earlier has advantages. As we get more convenient potent HIV meds, I feel, it will be harder and harder to withold them until a person reaches the AIDS threshold.

Therapy does work and can get your counts higher. I have seen limited CD4 cell increases with clean living alone - although I have seen dramatic declines in CD4 cells with rough living (crack, heavy alcohol, etc).

So do what you are doing (minus the worry) and have your CD4 cells monitored by your doctor.

DW



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