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Blood Work: A Complete Guide for Monitoring HIV

...WBCs that produce antibodies and keep the immune system working. They make up 10-45% of your WBCs. There are two main types: B cells and T cells, and they fight infection in different ways. CD4+ cells -- a type of T cell -- are cells that HIV uses to infect and/or destroy. You may have heard the term "CD4+ count" or "T cell count." This refers to a kind of T cell that controls the activity of other immune cells. (See Lymphocyte Subsets for...
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T-Cells Dropping and Viral is now Undetectable

Hello Dr Frascino,Here is my question. I have noticed (Oh I love the new Health Tracker on the Body now) that over the past year my T-Cells and % are starting to show a drop while my viral has gone to undetectable. March 08 to today 04/16/09 (my...
Robert J. Frascino, M.D.

Response from Robert J. Frascino, M.D.

The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation! You either have a wimpy virus or a highly effective immune system for controlling viral replication. Let's hope that trend continues! I'm not surprised your CD4% (or CD4 absolute count) has not gone up over the past year, because you are... Read more »


I have been + for 10 years. My initial VL was 300,000 and T's was 79. My initial therapy was Epivir, Zerit and Viramune along with Bactrim. I have since changed therapy due to the Zerit and now on Truvada and Viramune. My VL went undectable...
Robert J. Frascino, M.D.

Response from Robert J. Frascino, M.D.

The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation
...depression. Would a protease inhibitor help? Possibly. It may be worth a try for two reasons. First it will allow you to discontinue Sustiva (in light of your depression) and second it may result in improved immune reconstitution.Good luck!Dr.... Read more »

Rising T-cells, why start treatment?

Doctor,My T-cell count keeps rising from 403 to 420 to 450 and my viral load jumps around A LOT. From 150K to 56K to 160K. I have not had any major infections. Despite my rising T-cell count, my doctor keeps telling me that I should be on...
Robert J. Frascino, M.D.

Response from Robert J. Frascino, M.D.

The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation
...ongoing discussion as to when the best time is to begin HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) for HIVers. The guidelines continue to evolve, as newer, less toxic and more effective anti-HIV medications are developed. Ideally, for any... Read more »

T cell count 36

My husband t cell count is 36, he's been twice two the hospital, since he's legs give up on him very weak every day, he just want's to be in bed, he's taking all kinds of meds for HIV and infections, is he going to get worse,can't people survive...
Robert J. Frascino, M.D.

Response from Robert J. Frascino, M.D.

The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation
...very worrisome state of affairs. My best advice is for your husband to work closely with a competent HIV specialist physician. Continue to offer your husband encouragement and support, but also be realistic about his current condition. He is... Read more »
Gay Men's Health Crisis

Stalking HIV Immune Dysregulation

...researchers have raised the possibility that the thymus compensates for T-cell loss by increasing its production of replacement cells, although this theory remains controversial. Part of the difficulty lays in interpreting TREC levels. Since... Read more »
Test Positive Aware Network

HIV and Your Immune System

...transcribe their genetic code composed of RNA back into DNA copies within infected cells in order to effectively parasitize the host cells' machinery for creating protein (synthesis), viruses such as HIV are known as retroviruses. In order to... Read more »
Treatment Action Group

Threshold, Schmeshold: Long-Awaited Research Paper Takes on the Viral Diversity Threshold, Cannibalistic CTLs and NSI-to-SI Switch

...propose a few possibilities. As David Ho has said, HIV may simply exhaust the lymphopoietic system by the enormous numbers of T-cells that it destroys and that get replaced each day. At some point, the capacity of the body to produce T-cells just... Read more »
Test Positive Aware Network


...developed. In such cases, it may be necessary to stop taking Viramune until liver function returns to normal. Permanently discontinue it if abnormalities return. Rarely, severe and life-threatening hepatotoxicity (liver damage), including three... Read more »
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Posted by Anonymous
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Worried..T-Cells count going down fast!

Posted by Overstressed, 4 Replies
...T-Cells and 46,000 Viral Load I am scared because, I been fighting the fact of taking meds and would of thought it would been a long time befor I took meds. Read more »

Read the stories but I think I'm still +

Posted by Anonymous, 5 Replies
...After the pcr test I thought I would start feeling better but it got worse. I started having nausea, my lymph nodes under my arm continued to hurt, indigestion, and I felt like I was having a heart attack.Also, I have a cough that started before... Read more »

Have we been over medicated all along?

Posted by Anonymous, 1 Reply
...symptoms of HIV infection and six had severe immune deficiency when HAART began. HIV levels were below 50 copies/mL and CD4 T cell counts were within the normal range when the children were switched to maintenance therapy. All of the subjects... Read more »