CD4 cell count is used as a marker for monitoring how well your immune system is. For someone not infected with HIV, the CD4 cell count is usually between 500 and 1200 cells/mm3. HIV attacks the immune system, and without treatment, the CD4 count can fall to dangerously low levels, where the immune system is severely compromised, and patients are then vulnerable to opportunistic infections (OIs). However, treatment with ARVs (anti-retrovirals) in most cases will restore a low CD4 count to more-or-less “normal” levels. Until recently, for people receiving ARV treatment for HIV in the UK, CD4 tests have been done routinely every 3 or 4 months. New research has shown that for people whose viral load was suppressed and who had a CD4 cell count above 300, monitoring CD4 annually would be sufficient, and safe. The researchers believe that reducing the frequency of CD4 cell testing would have benefits for both providers and patients, saving substantial sums of money and reducing anxiety in people with HIV.
The full article can be read here.