This figure is rarely used for making treatment decisions.
CD4 and CD8 are two types of white blood cells in your blood. CD4 cells are also called T-helper cells, T-suppressor cells, and cytotoxic T-cells. They help the body fight infections. CD8 cells are also called cytotoxic T-lymphocytes. They help fight cancer and germs that live inside your cells (intracellular pathogens).
The absolute number of all CD8 cells, which include both killer and suppressor T cells. The normal range for an HIV-negative person is 150 to 1,000. It is usually higher in a person with HIV.
A decrease in Absolute CD8+ Cells refers to a lower-than-normal count of CD8+ T cells in the bloodstream. CD8+ T cells, also known as cytotoxic T cells, are a crucial part of the immune system responsible for recognizing and destroying infected or abnormal cells, including virus-infected cells and cancer cells. A decrease in these cells can weaken the body's ability to mount an effective immune response against infections and diseases. Various factors can lead to a decrease in Absolute CD8+ Cells, including immunodeficiency disorders, certain medications, viral infections (such as HIV), and other underlying health conditions. If a healthcare provider observes decreased CD8+ T cell levels, further medical evaluation and testing may be necessary to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.
If your CD8 count is high, it means your viral load is low. Your CD4 count is likely to return to normal levels. CD8 cells are important in the body's defense against HIV, and high CD8 count means that your body is effectively controlling the infection.
If your CD8 counts have been low or normal for some time and then become high, your physician is warned that treatment failure is about to happen. The CD8 cells increase in response to increasing viral load. Treatment failures happen in 20% to 40% of people on ART. Your doctor will ask if you're regular about taking your medicines, and consider other causes of treatment failure.
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