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Helicobacter and HIV Infections
Nov 7, 2002

I'm at 14th month of hiv infection. Viral load has been stable about 16-17,000 copies/ml and cd4 about 650-750, without therapy. Also I've a chronic gastritis caused by Helicobacter Pylorii wich was not eliminated after first therapeutic attempt (although I have no symptoms now). My doctor isn't sure if this infection has worst prognosis and cancer risk (mainly lymphoma)in an HIV infected patient and if re-treatment is needed. Do you know any investigations on this matter? Thank you in advance.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Very interesting question! Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria which causes many of the cases of gastritis (inflammation of the stomach) and ulcers, which plague mankind. I am not aware of any connection between Helicobacter pylori infection and HIV. Also I am not aware of any data indicating that HIV-infected patients with Helicobacter pylori infections do worse than patients who are not HIV-infected. I checked with some leading Helicobacter pylori experts who said the same thing. They felt if anything that the gastritis caused by this infection may be more mild in HIV'ers since HIV-infected patients mount less of an inflammatory response (i.e. less inflammation leads to less gastritis). So, in other words, your helicobacter infection should be treated in the same way as your physician would treat an HIV-negative person.

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