A CD4 count test examines the working of the immune system in those diagnosed with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). It helps us to know the impact of the sexually transmitted disease on our health. The CD4 test is also called the CD4 lymphocyte count, CD4+ lymphocyte count, T4 lymphocyte count, T-helper cell count, and CD4 percent.
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The CD4 test is done:
The terms HIV and AIDS are often used interchangeably. It is important to note that the majority of people diagnosed with HIV do not have AIDS. Only when your CD4 count is excessively low, you might be diagnosed with AIDS.
A CD4 count test measures the amount of CD4 cells in your blood. T cells, also known as CD4 cells, are white blood cells that combat several infections and illness-causing bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These are formed in the thymus gland and get transmitted through the blood and lymphatic system. HIV severely impacts and targets our CD4 cells, destroying the ability of our immune system to fight diseases and infections. If the viral load increases and no treatment is received, a person might also gradually develop AIDS, due to the extremely low count of CD4 cells. CD4 counts can vary even in healthy people. The test results of the CD4 test can also be given as a CD4 percentage, which is the ratio of CD4 cells to total lymphocytes.
There are usually no side effects or risks associated with a CD4 test. However, you might feel some pain for a few days in the area from where the blood will be taken using a needle.
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The CD4 test is performed:
There are no preparations required for the CD4 test.
The CD4 test is performed by collecting your blood sample from a vein using an injection. The area from where the blood would be withdrawn would be first cleaned using some alcohol. You can later cover it with a gauze pad. The CD4 test can be done either at a hospital, laboratory, or clinic. Home collection services are also available.
Normal Range – CD4 Test:
A CD4 count typically shows the number of cells (expressed as cells per cubic millimeter of blood). The results are sometimes given as a percentage of total lymphocytes (CD4 percent).
|Normal (in adults and teenagers)||500–1,200 cells per cubic millimeter||HIV infection has not yet affected your immune system|
|Abnormal||250–500 cells per cubic millimeter||Chances are that your immune system might have got impacted due to HIV|
|Abnormal||200 or fewer cells per cubic millimeter||It may signify that you have got infected with AIDS and also are at a risk to develop some severe infection.|
Though HIV cannot be cured completely, you can take certain medicines to keep your immune system from deteriorating further and live a healthy life by reducing your chances of developing AIDS. Do get treated by a doctor frequently for the same.
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