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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

Norwegian Male

Use of cd4/cd8
      03/05/05 09:11 PM

dropping by this bulletin-board, I see there is a lot of use and abuse of t-cell subsets among worried wells. To put things in perspective - cd4/cd8-ratios were used as a surrogate marker of HIV-infection among blood donors at a US hospital between 1983 and 1985 (when the antibody tests arrived). The sensitivity of this test was about 50%(meaning that only 50% of HIV-infected people had cd4/cd8-ratios below 0.85). More interestingly, the SPECIFICITY of having a cd4/cd8-ratio below 0.85 was less than 2%, meaning that only 1 in 50 with a cd4/cd8-ratio below 0.85 were in fact infected by HIV. Inversion of this ratio can be caused by a variety of autoimmune diseases, infections or even natural variations. The implication here is that these t-cell tests should be done only among HIV-infected or people with very clear indications of immunodeficiency (like repeated and unexplained bouts of oral thrush, well-documented hairy leukoplakia etc). Trust your tests, and don´t let your fear push you into taking imprecise tests that may leave you in doubt and pain.

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