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CD4+ cells are part of the
immune system and are a type of
white blood cell. White blood cells protect the body
against infection. CD4+ cells are also called T-lymphocytes, T-cells, or
HIV invades and destroys CD4+ cells. But the body
continues to produce new CD4+ cells to fight the HIV infection. If the
infection is not treated with medicines, the body gradually loses the ability
to produce enough CD4+ cells to replace the number that are being destroyed by
HIV. As the number of CD4+ cells in the blood drops, it becomes harder
for the immune system to fight infections.
CD4+ counts are measured every 3 to 4 months in people who are
infected with HIV. The CD4+ count is an important measurement of how HIV is
affecting your immune system and can help you decide when to begin treatment
for HIV or when you need to try a different combination of medicines.
April 5, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
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