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Editor's Correspondence
July 23, 2007

Selenium Effects on HIV RNA and CD4 Cell Counts

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2007 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2007

Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(14):1556-1557. doi:10.1001/archinte.167.14.1556

Hurwitz et al1 report that selenium supplementation resulted in increased CD4 T-lymphocyte cell counts and reduced HIV RNA levels.1 We believe that several issues need to be considered before reaching this conclusion.

First, human CD4 cell counts are not distributed normally in the population; thus, a better measurement of treatment response is to examine the change in either CD4 cell percentage or the square root of the CD4 cell count.2 Because the CD4 cell count in selenium responders increased by only approximately 6.7%, it is unlikely that this reflects a biologically significant difference or that the CD4 cell percentage or the square root of CD4 cell counts changed significantly.