Q and A

Question

What do my test results mean?

Hi, today I got new reports for my mother who is HIV positive:

CD4 t-helper cells: 10.5
Absolute CD4 lymphocyte: 226
CD8 suppressor cells: 67.1
Absolute CD8 lymphocyte: 442
CD4/CD8 ratio: 0.16

She started ART 4 months ago and this is new report. Can you please help me understand this?

Answer

Hi, how are you and your mother doing?

The most important results here are the CD4 absolute count. The rest can be used clinically but not offer much in terms of understanding your mothers health.

CD4 count measures how healthy your immune system is. In an HIV negative person this would be expected to be between 430 and 1690. Your mothers is 226. This means that her immune system is not as healthy as it could be. Do you know what it started at when she was diagnosed? Often CD4 counts go up when on ART but it is a slow process and can take over a year to get back to a healthy range. Is she on any other medication while her CD4 count is at this level like an antibiotic?

Because CD4 count is an absolute count, it is not very helpful in one instance. The result needs to be taken at several points (e.g., every few months). This helps identify a trend and how your mothers immune response is dealing with HIV and her treatment.

If you have another question please ask,

Josh.

7 comments

  1. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Noma, yes it is possible for you both to have a child. As you are both on ARVs this will greatly reduce risk of transmission to your baby. It is safe to continue with ARVs throughout your pregnancy. After your baby is born, they will go on their own course of ARVs to further reduce their risk. HIV positive women all over the world give birth to healthy HIV negative babies.

  2. Noma

    Hi
    Me and my fiance we tested positive, we are on ARVs for 2 years now, I want to know if is possible for us to have a child? I’m 44 years old, please help

  3. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Pitchaiah, these are not results from an HIV test. You will need a specific test for HIV to confirm your status. Please follow this link to learn more: https://i-base.info/qa/257

  4. Pitchaiah

    Sir
    My cd4/cd8 ratio is 1.94 plz tell me I am hiv pasutive

  5. Karamjeet

    Yeah hopefully… and thank you for your time

  6. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Karamjeet, this is great news. Increasing over the last 4 months indicates that her medication is working well. Hopefully her CD4 count will continue to rise following on from this.

  7. Karamjeet

    Thank you for your reply…
    When we got to know about HIV 4 months ago her cd4 count was just 23… this is new test report and cd4 count raised to 226

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