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safe to go back to work?
Mar 1, 2009

Dear Br.Bob, My partner(of 10 years) developed PCP in July 2008- diagnosed HIV+ with a viral load of 45,000 and CD4% of 1% and a count of 3.

He started Atripla in August 2008.

His VL has been undetectable since December 2008. His CD% is 7% & and count is 105.

He is a medical (hospital ) doctor. He is planning to look for a job again..sometime soon..my question is; Is it safe for him to go back to a hospital environment before his count climbs above 200 cells??...

He is on secondary septrin prophylaxis, 960mg daily.

Any opinion would be gratefully appreciated.

We live and work in the UK.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I'm more than a bit shocked that a physician would not recognize his own HIV/AIDS condition until his CD4 count had fallen to the catastrophically low level of three! I can only assume your partner's denial mechanisms are extremely well honed! I'm glad he is now on treatment and his CD4 count is improving. However, a count of 105 is far from being out of the woods. He remains susceptible to a variety of opportunistic diseases and malignancies. I would not recommend he return to work in a hospital environment or other locations where he may be exposed to harmful pathogens his deficient immune system can't effectively fight off. Once again his denial mechanisms may be kicking into overdrive. He should discuss his plan to return to work with his HIV specialist physician.

Dr. Bob


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