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Advanced Stage
Apr 3, 2013

As I mentioned My sister has died and this is miserable to the whole family. I can't believe what happened. Is this possible. How can a person die within 6 months when she has a cd4 count of 316. Can the cd4 count drop that fast from 316 to 28 within 3 months. I just wanted to find out what could have gone wrong. Please answer me.

Response from Dr. Young


I'm so sorry about your loss. It is unusual for people with suppressed HIV on treatment to have such rapid decreases in absolute CD4 cell counts.

If I recall, your sister's last CD4 count was obtained when she was very ill. It' quite possible that this absolute CD4 cell count wasn't truly reflective of her HIV-related immune health, but rather that all of her white blood cells were depressed because of her ongoing other infection(s). One way to see if this was the case is to look at your sister's total WBC count or CD4 percentage. If my hunch is correct, her total WBC might have been low when she died or her CD4 percentage might have been relatively preserved. It's not uncommon for people to have very low white blood cell counts when they experience severe infections, such as cellulitis, pneumonia or sepsis.

I hope that helps. Again, so sorry for your loss. BY

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