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Responsiveness of CD4 Cells
Oct 18, 2006

Thank you for the most amazing information you provide to people all over the worldeven to us here in Cape Town, South Africa. I understand that CD4-cells counts are hugely affected by various factors such as stress levels, opportunistic infections, medication, lifestyle etc. However, what I dont understand is how FAST ones CD4 counts will be affected by (or react to)circumstances, in particular to high-stress episodes (not prolonged stressed in general) and also the affect of antibiotics. (I am not yet on ARV treatment) Could you please explain how responsive CD4-cells are. Thank you! Demyan

Response from Dr. Young

Demyan, Thanks for your post and question. It's great to know that we're reaching readers in South Africa.

CD4 cell levels, as part of the immune system, can respond quite quickly to immunologic stimulus. Their overall levels fluctuate a lot, as a function of immune activation, time of day or ongoing infections. By contrast, the CD4 percentage tends to fluctuate less.

Stress is harder to assess, since "stress" comes from many corners.

It's difficult to give you a quantitative answer, since it depends on the factor in question, but in general, I suggest that HIVers not get CD4 count tests within a couple of weeks of infection, vaccination, etc.

Hope this helps, BY



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