Do CD4 Counts Matter After Starting Treatment? An HIV Doc Responds
May 26, 2016
One of the main goals of HIV treatment is to get your viral load below 50 copies/mL where it is considered "undetectable." But what about your CD4 count? Currently, all of the five major international HIV treatment guidelines recommend starting treatment for all individuals living with HIV, regardless of CD4 count. But does CD4 count matter after you start treatment? Why do we continue to monitor CD4 counts if they're not as important as viral loads?
On his personal Tumblr, Joel Gallant, M.D., M.P.H., an HIV doctor at Southwest CARE Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, answers questions from people living with HIV who are concerned about a number of issues, including starting treatment and CD4 counts.
On May 8, 2016, an anonymous user asked:
So there you have it -- although CD4 counts can be meaningful, there's not much you can do to change them. What do you think? Do you closely monitor your CD4 counts and, if so, why? Discuss in the comments section below.
Joel Gallant, M.D., M.P.H., is the associate medical director of specialty services at Southwest CARE Center in New Mexico. You can ask him a question directly on his Tumblr page, Ask Dr. Joel.
Warren Tong is the senior science editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com. Follow Warren on Twitter: @WarrenAtTheBody.
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