Mar 2, 2001
I am a person with AIDS. My CD4 count is somewhere between 300 and 400. The virus is undetectable. I have been on AZT+indinavir+ddI for 33 months now. I had tuberculosis (when I tested positive)three years ago, which was successfully treated.I have suffered from recurrent genital herpes for about seventeen years as well as small genital warts (which I caught twelve years ago) some of which still remain although they were initially treated with something called "podophilinum"(or similar)which burned them and a silver compound ointment.I also suffered from other OIs (oral candida and herpes, very frequent pharyngitis)and I have been a once or twice a week alcohol and cigarette abuser for several years. Do you think I should go through RX, scanner, specific blood tests (apart from my routine CD4 and Viral load every three months),clinical explorations or something else on some regular periodical schedule in order to prevent cancer?. (I know I should give up tobacco and alcohol first of all).Thank you very much and congratulations for your excellent work.
Response from Dr. Dezube
I do NOT think "scans" are necessary. The American Cancer Society regularly issues guidelines on how to prevent cancer. These apply whether or not you are HIV-infected. They include recommendations (this is a partial list) such as 1) Avoid alcohol and cigarettes (a tough battle indeed)
2) Mammograms (I couldn't tell from your note if you're a man or woman) after a certain age (some guidelines suggest age 50)
3) The checking of the stool for blood annually or even a colonoscopy after the age of 50
4) Some recommend checking prostate blood test PSA in men after the age of 50.
5) Routine cervical PAP smears in women
6) In addition, I believe that virtually all gay men, whether they are HIV+ or HIV- should have an anal PAP smear. In your case, I would recommend it since you have a history of genital warts.
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