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Blood Chemistry and Hematology
Nov 18, 1996

My problem began about three weeks ago. I came down with a cold and an upper respiratory infection. I was on an anti-biotic for 10 days, and the problem disappeared. The symptoms showed up again a week later, but more violently. I switched anti-biotics, and got a blood test. My blood test showed that I had a very high white blood count (15,000) and a very low lymphocyte level (9.8). I was tested for AIDS 2 months ago and came up negative, but had unprotected sex with my boyfriend since then. I guess what I need to know is what would the blood chemistry of a person showing signs of the AIDS virus be?

Response from Dr. Cohen

A high white blood cell count is common when you have an acute infection. Sometimes the percentage of lymphocytes can be low because you develop a predominance of neutrophils (a different kind of white blood cell) in response to the infection, so the lymphocytes make up a lower proportion of the total white blood cells.

You can't diagnose HIV infection based on a complete blood count, and you can't rule it out, either. But what you are describing would not be typical of either the acute retroviral syndrome or of established HIV infection.



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