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HIV and AIDS

Could HIV Cause My Unusually Low White Blood Cell Count?

02/20/2006

Question:

I got the results back from a routine blood test. I am a healthy individual as far as I know, but the doctor told me that the test showed that I had an unusally low white blood cell count. Can you please give me a list of illnesses which could have caused this result? Could it be an indication that I could be infected with HIV?

Answer:

Many conditions can cause a low white blood count, so whether or not you should undergo further testing depends on many factors. Can you go back and ask the doctor who told you it was unusually low to tell you what that person thinks it means? If not, perhaps you can ask another doctor, because some of possible causes are serious, and others are not very serious, so without knowing a lot more about you and about you blood test results, I shouldn't try to help you over the internet. If you may have been exposed to HIV infection, you should be tested for antibodies against HIV. 

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Response by:

Lisa A Haglund, MD Lisa A Haglund, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati