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HIV and rheumatoid arthritis

Jun 5, 2008

I am a 55 yr female who was diagnosed with AIDS 18 months ago. Thanks to Atripla my CD4 is now 321 and VL undetectable with 17% (I started at CD4 183, 89,000 VL and 7%). I also have rheumatoid arthritis. I had to go off Methotrexate and Humira and not take Prednisone because of my HIV. Incidentally I have have ductal carcinoma in situ in both breasts that were treated with mastectomies. My question: My rheumatologist said there is a study going right now of the use of TNF Blockers (Humira/Enbrel) in HIV patients with RA. Have you heard of this or can shed any light on this combo of morbidities? Thank you for addressing HIV and aging!

Response from Dr. Moyle

The main issue about anti-TNF drugs in HIV is the risk of tuberculosis (TB) that has been reported with these drugs. With methotrexate and prednisolone it is much more about adding immunosuppression to immunodeficiency. Once your immunodeficiency has recovered, as it seems to be doing rather well, it is reasonable to reconsider using all of these drugs, your rhuematologist and HIV specialist can discuss together then relative risks and likely benefits in your indiidal case. As you are now well from an HIV standpoint and should have a long life expectancy, the optimal management of your Rhuematoid arthritis is critical to avoiding future disability. I hope this helps regards Dr Moyle

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