CD4/CD8 Immune Cell Counts
Low CD4 cell counts (or abnormal CD4/CD8 ratios) are considered to be an unambiguous sign of the progression of AIDS, yet science does not support this. There are people with AIDS with normal CD4 cell counts and healthy people with low CD4 cell counts. Over a large group of people, it may well be true that on average, low CD4 cell counts identify a group of people who are more likely to be in ill health, but this logic does not apply to all individuals. Furthermore, even if low CD4 cell counts were always associated with ill health, it would not necessarily follow that artificially raising these counts with toxic drugs would be beneficial. CD4 cell counts are a type of Surrogate Marker, a lab measurement that substitutes for a real measure of health. Consequently, decisions made on the basis of CD4 cell counts should be interpreted with caution, particularly decisions that could prove damaging, such as starting antiretroviral medications.
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© Copyright February 15, 2016: Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society