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CD4 Count Very Low (at 12)
Sep 19, 2006

My partner takes the strongest AIDS meds, his doctor said, and his CD4 count is slowly slowly rising. It was at 3 in November and 12 now. He has no symptoms or complications. He work, excercise, and live a seemingly normal life. His doctor told him with a count so low, he is close to death! So any advice?

Response from Dr. Pierone

No one would deny that having a very low CD4 count is not a good thing. But there are many people living with HIV infection who started with CD4+ lymphocyte counts below 20 and now have good (or normal) CD4+ counts as a result of HAART. Immune reconstitution takes time, but it predictably occurs as viral replication is brought under control. So my advice is that you tell your partner to ignore what his doctor told him about being close to death and continue living a seemingly normal life. Also, I would mention that his doctor needs to add some CME (continuing medical education) to his seemingly normal life as well. Thanks for posting and let us know how things progress.

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