With T4 and T8 cells (generically referred to as "T-cells," but also called CD4 and CD8 cells), generally the more the merrier. T4 cells are the messenger cells that tell your body to mount an immune response. T8 cells are the messenger cells that tell your body to stop an immune response, as when you are over a cold. Generally, at the start of an infection your T4 cells should be elevated, and at the end of an infection your T8 cells should be elevated. There is mounting evidence that a high level of T8 cells is associated with long-term HIV survival, for some undetermined reason.
(Note: Wes and Tom's doctor stopped checking their T8 cells in late 1996 when viral load tests became widely available, as viral load became what she based her treatment decisions on. Later, evidence again showed that T8s may play a role in long-term survival. So, we started having T8 cells counted again starting in 1999. For the period where we have "missing" data, late 1996-1999, we are arbitrarily graphing the T8 "count" at a constant level on Wes' graph, and at zero on Tom's.)
Look how Wes' T4 cells start to outnumber his T8 cells in November 2000, for the first time since July 1992.
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