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CD4 cell count
Jul 29, 2012

Hello. A friend of mine has just disclosed that he was diagnosed HIV+ ten years ago. I had my suspicions. However, he has said that he has a CD4 cell count of 1560. He has never had antiretroviral treatment, or, indeed, any treatment. I am dubious but, also, fairly lacking in knowledge of HIV albeit, his disclosure has triggered me to research more into this. He said that he has a "rare genotype" of something or other but, when I push him for further disclosure, he says he has already said enough. I am also concerned that, since he is homosexual and practising unprotected sex, that not only his welfare is at stake but those with whom he has sexual encounters. He is extremely thin, weighing just 49 kg. He recently developed a fever of 42 and a respiratory infection for which he was treated with antibiotics at the Emergency room.

Is this possible to have HIV with such a high CD4 count?

Your comments would be much appreciated.

Response from Mr. Vergel

I have never seen such high CD4 cell count.

A very small population of HIV positive people are what we call "elite controllers". They seem to have immune systems that fight HIV well. Most have low HIV viral loads for years.

Another even smaller portion of the population are born CCR5 receptor negative caused by a mutation on the gene that rules that receptor. Their CD4 cells do not get infected by the most common type of HIV (R5 tropic). These people can get infected with a X4 tropic virus, however. By the way, there is a blood test that can determine if someone belongs to this lucky group.

I have seen some people lie in the past about belonging to either of these two minorities to justify their lack of action and denial. I am not sure if your friend is one of them, though.

Nelson



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