Th/Ts cell ratio

Question

A patient with AIDS has a low TH/TS cell ratio. What is meant by this ratio and what clinical manifestations would this cause?

Answer

It is just the ratio of the t helper cells (CD4) divided by the t suppressor cells (CD8). With HIV infection the CD4 cell count goes down and the CD8 count goes up which is why ratio goes down with advancing infection. The ratio does not offer any additional information over the CD4 count/percentage in terms of risk for opportunistic infections when someone has HIV/AIDS.