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CD4+ Cells - Topic Overview

CD4+ cells are part of the immune system and are a type of white blood cell. White blood cells protect the body against infection. CD4+ cells are also called T-lymphocytes, T-cells, or T-helper cells.

HIV invades and destroys CD4+ cells. But the body continues to produce new CD4+ cells to fight the HIV infection. If the infection is not treated with medicines, the body gradually loses the ability to produce enough CD4+ cells to replace the number that are being destroyed by HIV. As the number of CD4+ cells in the blood drops, it becomes harder for the immune system to fight infections.

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How will you be commemorating National HIV Testing Day, June 27? Alfre Woodard, the Emmy Award-winning actor and star of TNT's hit series Memphis Beat, makes it easy for anybody to make a difference: In 2009, she and other actors such as Matt Damon and Helen Mirren lent their voices to Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales (mandelasfavoritefolktales.com), an audiobook from which proceeds go to help orphans of the disease in South Africa. "The sale of just one book can support a child for an...

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CD4+ counts are measured every 3 to 4 months in people who are infected with HIV. The CD4+ count is an important measurement of how HIV is affecting your immune system and can help you decide when to begin treatment for HIV or when you need to try a different combination of medicines.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: April 05, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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