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Early Infection Health Issues
Feb 23, 2009

I was diagnosed a month ago, and I am confident that I was infected approximately 6 months ago. As of a month ago, my initial T Cell readings were 215 at 25% and my VL was 403,000. These troubling numbers so early are worrying me. In addition, I have continued symptoms of rashes, fatigue, night sweats, chills, migraines and coughing. I have also noticed a small purple spot developing next to my lower lip. My doctor wants me to take one more blood test before starting meds, and potentially start a clinical trial, which interests me. I am just concerned that with these continued symptoms that my health is continuing to fail and I am putting myself in danger by waiting.

I guess my questions is, is it possible to develop to AIDS in 6 months? Is it possible my purple spot is KS?

Thank you for your help and peace of mind with this.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Developing AIDS six months after being infected would be extremely unlikely. The real question is: Are you absolutely sure you were infected six months ago? Could it have been earlier?

As for Kaposi's sarcoma, it can develop at any CD4 cell count, but is more common and much more severe at lower counts. If you're concerned about your purple spot, show it to your HIV specialist or an HIV-knowledgeable dermatologist.

As for when and what to start, that's a lengthy discussion you should have with your HIV specialist. If you don't want to wait to start or decide not to participate in the clinical trial, there is no reason you couldn't or shouldn't begin treatment now. Also, since your counts are approaching 200, you may need Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis now. I'm also concerned you are having "rashes, fatigue, night sweats, chills, migraines and coughing." A thorough evaluation by your HIV specialist is warranted to check for possible opportunistic infections. Don't delay.

I'm here if you need me.

Dr. Bob


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