House of CD8

Orange octopus with a sword in one hand and an 8 embedded within

Cells that are a normal part of a healthy immune system, the House of CD8 grows during times of attack by HIV and proliferates throughout the land. After all, their house words are “Fire and Blood.” The rapid rise of these cells can cause more harm than good. Once a person living with HIV gets on medication and HIV is undetectable, these “shock troops” need to stop the battle and return to their castle, but often they stick around looting and plundering. When the CD8s outnumber the CD4s by too much we know bad things happen to people living with HIV (i.e. heart disease, stroke, and COPD), sometimes even when they are taking their medication and HIV is undetectable. It takes time for CD8 T-cells to calm down, even after HIV is fully suppressed.