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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.

Very low viral load AND very low CD4 count?
Viral load and body fluids

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