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MY CD4 COUNT IS NOT IMPROVING: WHAT CAN I DO?
Aug 9, 2013

I was diagonised with HIV in December 2013 and my CD4 was 47. I was immediately started on Atripla and Septrin. I eat fairly healthy. In March 2013 my CD4 was 164 but today it has dropped to 158. What can I do to improve it, do I need to change medication? I am deeply concerned.

Response from Dr. Henry

CD4 levels and recovery is highly variable. The key parameter regarding whether antiretroviral therapy is working is the HIV level-if undetectable then the drugs are working find and you have some good level of protection against AIDS events independent of the CD4 count. CD4 recovery is variable and depends on a number of factors including age, size of thymus, genetics, level of scarring of lymph tissue,level of ongoing inflammation deep in the tissues including the gut, and other factors. You actually have had a decent CD4 recovery. Levels can easily fluctuate from day to day and even with the same day so I would hope/expect over the next 6-12 months that future CD4 counts (and CD4%) will continue at least a slow generaly climb upwards. Unfortunately, there is no intervention /treatment that I can recommend that will accelerate CD4 increase with quality /functional CD4 cells-efforts to accelerate CD4 increases with drugs like IL-2 have not proven safe or effective. KH



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