CD$ Number Vs. Percent
Aug 10, 2007
Hey Dr. Bob, What is the latest consynsis on CD4 Counts and CD4 Percent? First set of Labs = 220 / 12% / 44K V.L. Now, after Atripla SIX WEEKS- 285 Count / UNDER 300 VIRAL (yippy & Wow) and CD 14% - My arrogant doc states- " Once considered Aids with under 14% - Always AIDS" - I am not buying it...What is the latest word? I understand the threshold as Under 200 CD4 I feel He should not classify me as having AIDS...especially with my quick CD4 increase after 6 weeks and ZERO Phy Signs. Any words of wisdom would be appriciated. Thanks for all you do!!!
Response from Dr. Frascino
Arrogant or not, I have to agree with your doc on this one. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) AIDS surveillance case definition for adolescents and adults categorically states that HIV disease becomes "AIDS" when the immune system becomes seriously damaged. They define seriously damaged as a CD4 count of less than 200 cells or CD4 percentage less than 14%. The diagnosis of AIDS is also established if an HIV-positive person at any CD4 cell count gets certain opportunistic infections or malignancies, such as PCP (Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia), KS (Kaposi's sarcoma), CMV (cytomegalovirus), etc. Once the AIDS diagnosis is established, it does not change, even if the CD4 cell count and/or percentage improve above the AIDS-defining limit. Similarly, even if the opportunistic infection resolves, the AIDS diagnosis remains. However, remember, "AIDS" is merely an artificial designation that the CDC created in order to count cases (for surveillance purposes). It doesn't really hold prognostic significance. In other words, there are some very healthy AIDS patients walking around today, just as there are some very sick HIV-positive but not AIDS-defined patients struggling to survive.
That you have AIDS and that is indeed a fact you're going to have to accept shouldn't diminish your "yippy & wow" reaction to your response to Atripla! You are responding well to treatment, both immunologically (increasing CD4 count) and virologically (declining HIV plasma viral load) and this is excellent news! OK?
You can read more about HIV/AIDS diagnostic criteria and surveillance definitions in the archives, as this question comes up not infrequently.
Finally, if your HIV specialist is indeed arrogant, you should consider finding one with whom you can develop a more collegial and cooperative relationship.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- Do People Get HIV From Anal Sex Top?
- Is Deep Kissing Safe?
- Probability Of Getting AIDS From Insertive Anal Sex Without Condom
- What Are The Chances Of Getting AIDS From Sucking Penis?
- Are Red Spots A Sign Of HIV?
- Dry Cough After Unprotected Anal Sex Without Ejaculation Does It Mean I Have HIV
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.