Funding drives Countries to Choose Between CD4 testing and Viral Load - Campaigners Need to Step Up and Shout About Why it’s so Significant to use Both
CEO of The Global Health Group
Chief of Mycotic branch at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
Specialist Consultant working to develop tech to aid treatment and diagnosis of HIV
Greater uptake of CD4 testing needed
Viral load tests cannot replace CD4 tests
The danger of Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome
Getting tests to remote communities is only half the challenge
Getting the CD4 message out to funders
Why count CD4 cells?
CD4 T lymphocytes (CD4 cells) are a type of white blood cell in human blood that play a major role in protecting the body from infection.
There were approximately 36.7 million people living with HIV at the end of 2016. iii
The African Region is the most affected region, with 25.6 million people living with HIV in 2016. iii
The African region also accounts for almost two thirds of the global total of new HIV infections. iii
CD4 cells are major targets for HIV. The virus binds to CD4 cells, enters them, replicates inside them, and eventually kills them. iv
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers people who have an HIV infection and CD4 counts below 200 cells/mm3 to have AIDS (stage III HIV infection), regardless of whether they have any signs or symptoms. v
CD4 Cell Counting
HIV Advanced Disease Management More than a third of people starting ART have advanced HIV disease, and an increasing number of patients re-present to care at an advanced stage of HIV disease following disengagement from care. The leading causes of morbidity and mortality in these patients include tuberculosis, severe bacterial infections, cryptococcal meningitis, toxoplasmosis, and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia.
WHO CD4 Guidelines for Immunocompromised Patients The challenge for clinicians monitoring the health of those living with HIV is not just to treat them with antiviral therapies – but to understand exactly how far their immune system has been compromised. Otherwise, they become susceptible to additional life threatening, opportunistic diseases.
CD4 Must Nor be Sidelined if we are to Beat AIDS
Which key populations are most at risk from advanced HIV?
These are opportunistic infections that occur in people with weakened immune systems and can be fatal. People who have low CD4 counts — especially below 200 — are at very high risk of opportunistic infections..
Funding Drives Countries To Choose Between CD4 Testing And Viral Load
For too long, CD4 testing has been on the wane in countries with high incidences of HIV. Yet it is the recommended way to identify people in advanced stages of the disease and whose reduced immunity therefore exposes them to potentially fatal, opportunistic infections.