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CD4 slight drop
May 16, 2012


My i got tested last august 2011 and started with duovir and nevipan (nevirapine). i started with an 18 cd4 count and it went up to 146 by january and a VL of 46 which was good. I got a flu vaccine last february and just recently recovered from shingles a couple of weeks ago. I got my latest cd4 and it's 131. is there a reason for me to panic?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

There's no reason to panic at all. Having a recent illness (like shingles) or vaccination can alter your CD4 count and even cause low level detectable HIV RNA (viral load) for a couple of weeks. I usually don't recommend that these lab tests get run under these circumstances, if avoidable, just for this reason.

Furthermore, CD4s fluctuate a lot-- even without the illness/vaccine issue.

I hope that's helpful, BY

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