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Effects of Stress on T-Cell Count & Viral Load
Sep 25, 2000

My good friend suffers from AIDS and has a current T-Cell Count of 245, Viral Load of 4000. However, he is under a great deal of stress due to legal litigation. How does stress affect people who suffer from HIV or AIDS? Does it contribute to deterioration?

Response from Dr. Dieterich

Stress is bad for all of us and one of the ways in which it manifests itself is in lowered immunity. That is why we always get a cold when we least need it. I am reminded of a study of widows and widowers in England several years ago and for a whole year after the loss of a spouse their t cells were significantly lower than they were before and after. These were not even HIV infected individuals! I don't know what your friend can do about it, but stress is bad for him. Good luck! DTD

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