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Increase in CD4 Count
Feb 20, 2014

Hi Ben.

I am writing to you from India. My last question was about CD4 Rapid decline few months back. (CD4 count decrease rapidly. Dec 8, 2013).

Soon i am planing to get into my treatment. I have got an amazing doctor who is helping me with every information i require and need i do.

My question mostly been asked before i guess., but i am curious to know why my CD4 count increased from 322 to 378 and my Viral load is only in few thousands. and according to my doc my Viral load is normal.

Given sudden increase in my CD4 considering i did the test around the same time and last test report of 322 i was sick with toothache and cold, cough., had my flu vaccine.

Do you think i should wait a little longer say two more cd4 test in 3 month each and see the trend. BTW i have also quit smoking completely. lastly thanks for your dedication and helping nature, to me you are God.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting again from India.

I don't believe that you're interpreting your labs correctly. CD4 counts vary quite a bit from day to day. According to our Department of Health and Human Services Panel, a significant change in absolute CD4 cell count is over 30%. So, 30% of 322 is about 100 cells- I wouldn't try to interpret any excursion of your CD4 from 220 to 420 as significant.

Further, if you were sick with a cold and possible tooth infection, you really shouldn't have a CD4 or VL test drawn as it's thought that such things can alter your lab values transiently.

I don't think you need to see trend at this point. The World Health Organization recommends HIV medications for people with CD4 cell counts below 500.

Hope that's helpful, and thanks for the complement. I'm no God. I'm just (and proudly) a HIV care provider. BY

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