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Question
Posted by: Zoe | 2005/07/26

Pls help me to understand my CD4 results

I did the CD4 Count and Viral Load test last week on Wednesday, I've collected my results:
Odered Tests ; VCD4C, VCD4

Absolute CD 4 358 Cells / ul
(%) CD4 21.00 % of Lymph

Thank you

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Our expert says:
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Normal CD4 counts in adults range from around 500 to 1,500 cells per cubic millimeter of blood.

In general, the CD4 count goes down as HIV disease progresses. Any single CD4 count value may differ from the last one even though your health status has not changed. You should not place too much importance on any one result. What is more important than any single value is the pattern of CD4 counts over time.

If your CD4 count declines over several months, your doctor may recommend beginning or changing anti-HIV treatment and/or starting preventive treatment for opportunistic infections like Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). Your CD4 count should increase or stabilise in response to effective combination anti-HIV therapy.

Viral load tests are reported as the number of HIV copies in a milliliter of blood. If the viral load measurement is high, it indicates that HIV is reproducing and that the disease will likely progress faster than if the viral load is low. A high viral load can be anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 copies and can range as high as one million or more.

A low viral load is usually between 200 to 500 copies, depending on the type of test used. This result indicates that HIV is not actively reproducing and that the risk of disease progression is low.

A viral load result that reads “undetectable” does not mean that you are cured. It may mean that the level of HIV virus in your blood is below the threshold needed for detection by this test. Other tests that are ultra-sensitive and that can measure as few as 20 to 40 copies in a milliliter of blood can be performed to make sure.

Change in viral load is also a very important measurement. A rising count indicates an infection that is getting worse, while a falling count indicates improvement and suppression of the HIV infection.

You did not give your viral load result. As you can see you should not try to interpret one result by itself so it would be better if you asked your doctor to interpret the results for you, based on previous results combined with the current results.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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