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Author Topic: CD4 now 216, was 350 -can the numbers vary that much?  (Read 4131 times)

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Offline mark86

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CD4 now 216, was 350 -can the numbers vary that much?
« on: February 04, 2010, 12:31:41 pm »
Hi all,

I have a friend in South Africa who has just had her CD4 numbers from the doctor and it is 216. A few months ago, number was 350.

She is 29, on first line treatment, is healthy and has been on Meds for approx 3 yrs.

I thought such a drop from 350-216 was something to be worried about but as i say, she is healthy and happy and doctor their doesn't seem to be too worried.

Could it be the start of first line therapy failing (resistance issues) or can the numbers really vary that much and its nothing to be worried about???


Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: CD4 now 216, was 350 -can the numbers vary that much?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 01:19:16 pm »
They can easily vary that much.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline hotpuppy

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Re: CD4 now 216, was 350 -can the numbers vary that much?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2010, 01:19:00 am »
  Yes, like Miss P said, numbers can swing.  It may help to think of CD4's as a form of immune momentum.  If your friend had a sniffle or mild cold it might have pushed her CD4's down temporarily.  If she was stressed out about something that could do it too. 

Normally you want to look at the overall trend over a series of several tests.  In addition the percentage of CD4 to CD8 cells plays a roll in evaluating immune health.

Your friend is lucky to have a good friend who cares enough to ask.  :)  Generally, when therapy fails there is an increase in viral load as well.  So if the viral load is holding then the CD4 is probably just a blip.  It's also important to realize that "normal" is different for each person.  Seeing as this is rarely tested before infection it can be difficult to determine what is normal for each HIV+ person.  If her normal is 500 , then a swing from 350 to 216 isn't as bad as if her normal is 1200.

The best thing you can do is to help her reduce stress, enjoy life, exercise (like a walk in the park), and eat well. 

Don't obsess over the wrong things.  Life isn't about your numbers, it isn't about this forum, it isn't about someone's opinion.  It's about getting out there and enjoying it.   I am a person with HIV - not the other way around.

Offline mark86

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Re: CD4 now 216, was 350 -can the numbers vary that much?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2010, 01:34:22 pm »
Thanks all,
Thats  re-assuring. I will tell her to keep a track of her numbers, although i think the doctors there know what they are doing
She had to get up at 5am in Capetown and walk to the clinic and stand in line for 3 hrs to see the doctor. Has to do that every month or so.

Don't envy her at all


Offline friendlybuz

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Re: CD4 now 216, was 350 -can the numbers vary that much?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2010, 08:46:38 am »
 :( Im new in this CD4 count stuff, but I just found out that my CD4 went down and my viral load went up, I literally freaked out when I saw the numbers. I then texted my Psychotherapy who is also + and he stated that numbers go up and down, not too pary too much attnetion to them. THat was a relief.


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