India has the third largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS. The country harbors more than 24 lakh HIV positive patients and the rate of spread of the disease is alarming. The epidemic is concentrated among high risk group populations and is heterogeneous in its spread. The primary drivers of HIV epidemic in India are unprotected paid sex, unprotected sex between men and injecting drug users. The HIV virus target the CD4 T-cells and destroys them. When the number of CD4 T-cell decline below a certain level, the patient is at risk of developing opportunistic infections and neoplasms. The clinical latency in the immunocompromised patients hinders follow up and management of the HIV disease. Due to limited resources, scarce facilities and economic constraints, patient can hardly afford wide use of viral load assays as marker of the disease status. In these circumstances, estimation of accurate absolute counts of CD4 and CD8 cells and their ratios are useful in assessing the degree of immune deficiency in HIV infected persons. Flow cytometry is an accepted standard method for determination of absolute count of CD4 and CD8 T- lymphocytes. CD4 T-lymphocyte levels are also used to categorize HIV related clinical conditions by CDCís classification system for HIV infection and definition for AIDS. Further, staging of HIV disease, its progression, response to anti retroviral therapy (ART) and making decisions about initiation of chemoprophylaxis for opportunistic infections, are all based on CD4+ counts. In this way CD4, CD8 counts help in evaluating the immune status of patient infected with AIDS.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome(AIDS), HIV Infections, CD4 Lymphocyte Count, CD8 T-Lymphocyte count, Disease Progression, Opportunistic infections