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inverted cd4/cd8 ratio

Mar 4, 2007

Dear Doctors, I read that an inverted cd4:cd8 ratio is a fundamental characteristic of hiv and that all positive individuals consistently maintain a significantly higher cd8 count, from the time of seroconversion troughout the course of illness. It appears only medications can alter this ratio, but not to the point where it can ever be considered "normal" , i.e. > 1.0 as in hiv negative people. Do medications which cause increase in the cd4 count also cause decrease of the cd8s, normalizing this ratio , or does the body consistently produce a greater number of cd8s in response to the presence of the virus regardless of what levels cd4s may be ? Thank you.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

Successful HIV medications can both increase the CD4 and decrease CD8 levels. In contrast to your point, HIV+ persons (especially those who initiate treatment earlier) can have CD4/CD8 ratios in excess of 1.0 (I have many such persons under care in our clinic). BY

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