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To all those repeatedly neg but low cd4 (like me)
      #40659 - 09/24/02 07:07 AM

Dear Joel,

I've seen an expert at the the body talk about this, (Mark H.). What the hell is it. Is it just another name for an undectable strain of HIV? This is what he refers to people who keep testing negative on all sorts of test, but yet have thrush, OHL, joint pain, weight loss, rash outbreaks, swollen glands, etc., all things related to HIV or immune problems, and have low cd4 counts. Could we be looking at a new form of the HIV virus, maybe HIV 3. It seems alot of people out their are coming down with some really odd symptoms, while doing the standard serology test ELISA 1/2, well past the window period.


I assume he's talking about the so-called "Idiopathic CD4 Lymphopenia syndrome" or "ICL." This is a condition that got a lot of press several years ago when people were reported who had low CD4 cell counts and who sometimes developed opportunistic infections, but who had no evidence of HIV infection. These cases were closely examined, and it became clear that there was no true syndrome. It was also clear that this condition was not caused by an infectious agent and could not be passed from person to person. At the end of all these investigations, it was concluded that there are other conditions that result in low CD4 counts, but with the exception of HIV infection, they are rare, non-infectious, and non-transmissible. Before the HIV epidemic began, it would not have been common to measure someone's CD4 count. As a result of the epidemic, a few people with low CD4 counts began to be identified who would probably not have been noticed otherwise.

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