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Are there any precursors to a decline cells?
May 9, 2010

Are there any precursors to a decline cells? Or is it down abruptly without symptoms or introductions? Is it possible to come down to T cells despite the fact that viral load does not appear? Thank you.

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for your question.

For most people there is a steady decrease in CD4 count over time. The numbers can fluctuate (go up and down from test to test) but if you track it out on a graph the trends are down without treatment. Some people drop their CD4 count faster than others...it is based on the level of their viral load. Higher viral loads are linked to more quick drops in CD4, lower viral loads are linked with slower drops in CD4. Peope with HIV with very low, or undetectable viral loads have also been known to drop their CD4 over time...this is probably due to the inflammation that HIV causes...it revs up the immune system to keep it suppressed and this, over time, can cause the CD4 count to go down, although very slowly.

Best, Joe



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