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Merits of low versus high TNF Alpha levels

Dec 26, 2003

Dear Dr. Boyle,

Greetings from a former attorney to a former attorney!

I am treatment naive, CD4 count being 600. I have very low TNF Alpha (a level of 3, with normal being less than 20). Is this a good or bad thing? Do high levels of TNF Alpha provide some antiviral benefit? Does it mean that I am less likely to experience lipoatrophy or lipodystrophy? What are the advantages of high versus low TNF Alpha levels?

Many thanks.

Response from Dr. Boyle

TNF Alpha is an indicator of inflammation and has been associated with active HIV disease and, in some studies, lipodystrophy. Generally speaking, including in HIV disease, lower (less inflammation) is better.

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