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Author Topic: The Significance of CD8 levels  (Read 3401 times)

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Offline zielwolf

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The Significance of CD8 levels
« on: April 03, 2010, 12:06:08 PM »
I'm interested in the significance of the CD8 count which usually comes along with the CD4 count when you get a test.

CD4 always gets the limelight, is always in the headlines but CD8 seems to be totally lurking in the background.

When I asked my doctor about it he kind of dismissed the question & I wasn't in the mood to press him, and googling "CD8 HIV" surprisingly turned up little more.

I'm just a bit thrown by the fact that one of the only two components (CD8) that comprises the percentage and the ratio used to determine how bad your HIV infection is hardly gets a mention while the other (CD4) gets the spotlight. I'm sure there is a good reason for this - but I don't know what that reason is, and I'd like to know!  :)

My interest in this is piqued because for the last few tests my counts seem to have been a little awry. At the time of these I was not taking HAART medicines (but have just started to since these figures):

1. CD4 321 (21%) CD8 887 (58%)
2. CD4 324 (12%) CD8 1675 (62%)  [Paradoxically: Highest ever CD4 count but lowest ever percentage since diagnosis 12 months prior]
3. CD4 275 (13%) CD8 1373 (65%)   -   Ratio: 0.20

Viral load consistently listed as being >100,000

My CD4 count has been fairly steady for a year or so, between 270 and 330. It hasn't gone up or down much, and so I said, stuff it, better go on HAART before it does go down.

But the ratio and percentage figures have fluctuated a lot more, between 12 and 24% (the main reason for starting HAART) and it seems the reason for that is because of the CD8 cell count fluctuating.

The high range for CD8 on this test is 900, mine have been between 647 & 1675 so what does it all mean? Does it mean anything? Is it a good thing? A bad thing?

Sorry if it's boring, but I'm hoping people here might have an opinion or thoughts on the matter, because I'm honestly stumped by the dearth of information on CD8 and HIV. [Not to mention CD19!]
03/10 VL >100,000, CD4 275
Started Viramune/Truvada
05/10 VL 606, CD4 438

Offline Ann

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Re: The Significance of CD8 levels
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2010, 12:19:57 PM »
CD8s are discussed a bit in the CD4 Lesson in the Lessons section of this website.

You may have more luck with Google if you search for "Suppressor T-Cells" instead of CD8.

I have to admit that I've never been curious about CD8s, so I don't know much about them other that what's in the lesson I linked you to above.

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Offline veritas

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Re: The Significance of CD8 levels
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2010, 12:24:32 PM »

Here's a beginner's explanation cd4 vs cd8:



Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: The Significance of CD8 levels
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2010, 03:38:09 PM »

Offline tednlou2

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Re: The Significance of CD8 levels
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2010, 01:45:42 AM »
I recently read a question to a doc on thebody about DILS and CD8.  My doc never mentioned CD8 either and I was always curious--still very ignorant about it.  All I knew was the CD8 is usually really high in HIVers in order to kill the replicating virus. 

Below is the question I read and the follow-up question I posted.  I still don't know much about CD8 and had never heard of DILS until this question.  The doc I asked didn't seem to have much knowledge about CD8 cells as well.




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