What is CD4 Lymphocyte Count test?
A blood test called a CD4 count measures the CD4 cells in a sample of your blood. A subset of white blood cells are CD4 cells. They are also referred to as "helper T cells" or CD4 T lymphocytes. That's because they aid in preventing infection by triggering the immune system to eliminate bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful pathogens.
If you have HIV, a CD4 count is primarily used to assess the status of your immune system. HIV targets and kills CD4 cells. HIV might kill so many CD4 cells if you don't receive therapy that your immune system won't be able to fight off infections. AIDS is brought on by the HIV virus (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
The most severe stage of an HIV infection is AIDS. When you have AIDS, your CD4 count is so low that you run the risk of getting severe infections from bacteria, fungi, or viruses. These are referred to as "opportunistic infections," and they have the potential to be fatal. HIV/AIDS also raises your chance of getting certain malignancies.
Most HIV-positive persons do not have AIDS. They may never acquire AIDS if they take their HIV medication as directed.
A CD4 count can help your doctor determine your risk for dangerous infections if you have HIV. A CD4 count can also be used to monitor and assist in the diagnosis of various immune system-related disorders.
Other names: Other names of this test are CD4 lymphocyte count CD4+ count, T4 count, T-helper cell count, CD4 percent