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Viral load and CD4 +
Jun 29, 2001

Dear Dr, I had posted a question a week back but it seems the q never got thru. What I wanted to know is as follows: Does a good exercise regime, adequate sleep and a balanced diet, delay the reduction in cd4 count and increase in viral load. If so, then what are the rates at which cd4 counts come down and vl goes up? Thanks in advance S

Response from Dr. Young

In general, the major determinates of HIV disease progression are the viral load setpoint, type of virus your infected with, and for some persons, genetic differences that affect the surface of the CD4 cell.

Behavioral factors, such as rest, diet and exercise probably only play a minor role (if any) in CD4 cell decline. Clearly persons with profound malnutrition will be more sick than those with a normal diet, but outside of this extreme, the differences are likely to be small. This does not mean that getting good rest, diet and exercise don't affect long term health or quality of life; I recommend this for all of my patients.

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