How is white blood cell count linked to AIDS-related lymphoma?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

If you are HIV-positive and have a low white blood cell (CD4 or helper T-cell) count, you face an increased risk of developing AIDS-related lymphoma. This cancer attacks the lymph systems of people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). One type, primary central nervous system lymphoma (CNS lymphoma), grows in your spinal cord and brain; it usually affects people whose CD4 count falls below 50. A more common type, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, usually strikes people whose average CD4 count is 100 or less.

Your CD4 count not only affects your chance of getting AIDS-related lymphoma, but also affects your outcome. If your count is 200 or higher, you will generally have a better outcome than someone with a lower count will.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.