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.
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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