CD4+ Count - A Type Of White Blood Cell

Submitted on March 27, 2012

HIV is known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This is a sexually transmitted virus that eventually causes AIDS, a terminal disease where the individual will die, usually due to some normally harmless condition. Patients infected with HIV may not develop any symptoms for a considerable period of time. During this time, they are carriers for the virus and will transmit it when they come into sexual contact with others. HIV infected people will also transfer the infection to those who receive blood transfusions from them or those who come into contact with their blood in any way.

The diagnosis of HIV takes place through blood tests. When a patient is declared to be HIV positive he or she must take steps to ensure that the condition does not progress to AIDS. When this happens, the chances of survival are minimal. However, people with a dormant HIV infection can live for many years without any symptoms or any discomfort whatsoever. Regular monitoring is therefore necessary.

What is CD4+?

CD4+ is a type of white blood cell found in the human body. White blood cells are important when it comes to the functioning of the human immune system. When the HIV infection develops, it attacks the CD4+ cells. Therefore, a medical test to conduct a CD4+ count is used to check the progress of HIV. The CD4+ count is conducted over a period of days to check the general change that is taking place in the level of this substance. The CD4+ count on a particular day may be affected by many different variables.

Normal CD4+ Count

A normal CD4+ count indicates that there is sufficient immunity in the individual’s system to tackle any regular infections such as common flu viruses and other such conditions. When the individual has a normal CD4+ count, the doctor will hold back any treatments that are needed to augment the immune system. If there is a general downward trend in the CD4+ count, the patient will need anti retroviral treatment. Anti retroviral treatment is used to slow the progression of HIV. When the progress of HIV is slowed down, the chances of the condition worsening and leading to AIDS becomes lesser.

Test to Measure Levels

The test to measure CD4+ levels is a simple blood test. There is not much preparation needed for the test which would take less than a minute to be conducted. The CD4+ count results will be collected in a series of tests which will determine the nature of the individual’s HIV condition.