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what does this result mean?
Apr 3, 2012

hello, i discovered am HIV positive 4 months ago and a week ago i did my cd4 tests i got a result of 24.4% ive reading about the wholet thing and what i got is that i need a count a count of 300 is an indication to start treatment but what does this percentage mean? and how can i know my cd4 count if i get a result of 24.4% and is it low does this mean i should start my ttt soon? thank you

Response from Dr. Hightow-Weidman

Hello there Most information about how HIV is affecting your immune system, or about how treatment is improving your immune system, comes from the results of your CD4 tests. This is given as a number (anything between 1-1600 cells/mm3) and is called the 'absolute' CD4 count.

However, many things affect this absolute number is affected by lab processes, the time of the day, what you have eaten, if you have taken exercise, or if you have other infections and these are not related to immune system.

If your CD4 results are ever much higher or much lower than you'd expect, then your CD4 percentage can indicate whether this is a real change, or just a fluctuation. Your CD4 percentage is not as good at predicting risk of HIV progression, but it can indicate if there has been a real drop or increase in your count, because it is generally more stable.

The percentage relates to the percentage of white blood cells that are CD4 cells. In an HIV-negative adult a normal CD4 percentage is 40-45%.

In adults, a CD4 percentage of 12-15% is considered similar to a CD4 count of 200 cells/mm3, and a percentage of 15-20% is similar to an absolute count of 300 cells/mm3.

A percentage of 24% is similar to an absolute CD4 count probably around 350 or so. If you were my patient, I would certainly recommend treatment.

Hope that helps. Take care, LHW



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