However, this test can also be applied to other immune disorders that both target CD4. To know more about this type of test, see the following information, come on!
1. What is a CD4 test?
As previously explained, the CD4 test is done to check the level or volume of CD4 in the body. Described through the MedlinePlus, in people with HIV / AIDS (PLWHA), this test has several purposes, namely:
- To see how far the progress of HIV in the body is. The sooner detected, PLWHA can immediately receive treatment to suppress the virus and its development in the body.
- Diagnosing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). AIDS can be said to be a complication of HIV, when people living with HIV experience a set of symptoms or infections due to low immunity.
- Looking at the response of the virus and the body to HIV treatment. This helps healthcare workers assess the effectiveness of the drug and the side effects it can cause.
2. Causes of decreased CD4 levels in the body
The more the number of viruses in the body, the levels of CD4 cells will decrease as a result. Therefore, the body becomes more susceptible to disease. Therefore, treatment is needed to suppress the number of viruses so that the body has more time to restore normal levels of CD4 cells.
3. When and who should do the CD4 test?
Regular CD4 checks are also recommended to determine the effectiveness of treatment and side effects of HIV treatment on the body. The results of the examination can provide information whether the types of drugs consumed are still effective or need to be changed because the virus is experiencing resistance.
CD4 examination should be done routinely. The following are recommendations for routine CD4 checks based on the condition of HIV development.
- People whose levels of the HIV virus are detected in their bodies are recommended to undergo a CD4 test every 3 to 6 months.
- People with stable CD4 levels in the range of 300 to 500 cells per cubic millimeter for 2 years are recommended to undergo CD4 tests every 6 months.
- People whose levels of the HIV virus in their bodies are undetectable do not need to do regular CD4 tests.
4. The results of the CD4 test
According to the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, the results of the CD4 examination can be classified into several groups as summarized below.
- It is said to be normal if the CD4 count reaches 500 to 1,500 cells for every cubic millimeter of blood.
- It is said to be abnormal if the CD4 count only reaches 200 to 500 cells for every cubic millimeter of blood.
- A CD4 count below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood is at risk of developing AIDS and opportunistic infections, infections that occur due to a decrease in the body's immune system.
5. CD4 test procedure
Unfortunately, the CD4 test cannot be done independently at home. The patient must come to the health facility.
Before the examination, there is no special preparation that needs to be done. Later, health workers will take blood samples for further analysis in the laboratory. Furthermore, patients may experience side effects such as soreness and swelling in the arm area where the blood sample was taken.
Performing a CD4 test regularly helps monitor the progress of HIV in the body. Therefore, this test is very important to do to determine the right HIV treatment strategy. Thus, the quality and life expectancy of PLWHA can be maintained.