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NIGHTMARE TO END!
Nov 30, 2006

Hey Doc,

I promise to make this short and sweet! If a person repeatedly tests negative but has symptoms after two years post exposure what is the likelyhood that his CD4 count would be normal? What I mean is-IF and a big IF, that is, that a person had a foreign or unknown strain of HIV could he actually have symptoms with a high CD4 with a perfect CD4% or do symptoms arise at lower CD4's I was the one that wrote you about my high Kappa and Lambda Free light chains but actually low, but normal IgA IgM and IgG. Help please! I promise to donate 200.00 dollars if I am truly negative!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

T-cell subsets, including CD4 (helper cells), are involved with many aspects of the body's immune response to a wide variety of immunologic challenges. They are not a specific reflection of only HIV disease. Consequently, the absolute CD4 count and the CD4% are helpful in staging the degree of immune deterioration in HIV disease only in the evaluation of someone who is actually HIV positive. In HIV-negative folks, CD4 counts can vary up and down due to many unrelated conditions.

To attempt to answer your hypothetical question, I would anticipate the CD4 count and percentage to be in or near the normal range for healthy HIV-negative folks.

Your continued pursuit of sophisticated immunological studies is not helpful and may lay lead to confusion and misinterpretation. You are HIV negative. I urge you to stop chasing a disease you could not possibly have.

The way to make the "nightmare end" is to simply realize that nightmares are merely bad dreams, not reality! Your fears of being HIV infected are indeed just a bad dream! It's time to wake up and smell the Starbucks!

Dr. Bob



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