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CD4 Count Drop
Nov 6, 2013

Hi Doctor,

I was diagnosed with HIV last October 2012. In November 2012, my CD4 count was 169. In May 2013, it was 325. November 2013, it's 233.

Should I be worried? I'm really just worried right now.

I know that you will probably need viral load info, etc. But I don't have those information yet. My viral load test result won't arrive until a month from now. I'm just worried right now, that's why I decided to send this question.

Response from Dr. Henry

THe CD4 count varies widely in both HIV+ and HIV- persons (there is a large diurnal variation throughout the day with many other external and internal factors influencing the CD4 count at a given time point) thus it is not a reliable test for monitoring HIV infection in general (it does gives useful information about potential risk from AIDS-related problems). Your CD4 count of 169 in the US would be considered AIDS defining warranting starting treatment with antiretroviral medication regardless of the HIV level. You should discuss initiating treatment with your HIV provider as well as consider use of evaluation for any other problems (ie TB) that are seen in your area and whether any form of prophylaxis (ie Bactrim or a sulfa antibiotic) might be needed short term to protect againt HIV related infections. KH



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