Tuesday, July 26, 2011

HIV/AIDS in Africa and CD4 Cell Count

CD4 expressing cells are a group of defense cells in white blood cells, those are attacked by HIV to cripple the defense system of the victim. CD4 (Means cluster differentiation) is a type of protein that is expressed on the surface of certain T-Lymphocytes; in other words T-Lymphocytes expressing the special type of protein on their surface are called CD4 cells. HIV (Human immune-deficiency virus) uses these cells to attach itself and replicate in number. That results in gradual decline in the number of CD4 cells.
 From left to right: erythrocyte, thrombocyte, ...RBC, platelate and WBC; from Left to Right 
Normal CD4 count is 500-1200/cubic millimeter of blood. In HIV infection the count decreases. As CD4 cells constantly circulate in the blood to every part of body and attack the foreign intruder pathogens; a decrease in their number makes the defense system weak and vulnerable to any infectious disease. At that point HIV infection turns to the disease called AIDS (Acquired immune-deficiency syndrome).
In 2009, the WHO recommended that ART (Anti-retro-viral therapy, as HIV is a retro-virus) should be started when a key measure of immune system strength, the CD4+ cell counts, comes down to a concentration of 350 per cubic milliliter of blood. South Africa has instead decided to stick with the old standard of 200/cubic milliliter of blood to start ART.

Main symptoms of acute HIV infection. Sources ...Image via WikipediaThis strategy may be responsible for the alarming number of new cases of AIDS and unhindered spread of the disease in Africa.
While initial costs of adopting the new guidelines will be greater because of the increased number of people will be eligible for the treatment but, in the long run costs would be saved because of the reduced number of new infections
Enhanced by Zemanta


Get my updates delivered into your inbox; Privacy Policy :

Click here to Subscribe news feed from "Clinicianonnet; so that you do not miss out anything that can be valuable to you !!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...