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Chronic Benign Neutropenia
Jun 25, 2001

So here goes nothing. Im 20/male, HIV+ for 6 months now, and been on Trizivir for 2 months without missing a dose. My VL when starting was 113,000 and CD4 was at 460. I will find out this week what it is now at after the first trial of treatment (lets hope for undetectable!) Anyway, my parents have mentioned to me that as a child both my sister and I were diagnosed with chronic benign neutropenia. They also said that it was something that was treated and that I "grew out of". To the best of my knowledge I have suffered no problems growing up due to the condition, but I don't know how it could factor into or complicate my hiv status. In fact I don't really even know what it is. First of all, should I be concerned? And second, how can I monitor my condition (if necessisary) to avoid a problem? Third of all, what the hell is neutropenia - LOL.? Thanks for all of your help. You have proven as an invaluable resource.

Thanks, Alex :)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Alex :)

First, should you be concerned? Probably not. Second, your condition will automatically be monitored every time you get a blood count (see "third"). Third, neutropenia means decreased white blood cells (neutrophils). White blood cells, as well as red blood cells and platelets, are measured every time you have a CBC (complete blood count) drawn.

Neutropenia is reported in 10% of people with early asymptomatic HIV infection and in 50% of folks with more advanced disease. There are multiple causes including medication side effects. If you "outgrew" your childhood problem and have not had problems with recurrent infections since, you should not be at increased risk. It would be helpful to look back at previous white blood cell counts (before your HIV infection) just to get a baseline. Should you develop neutropenia, there are several medications available to stimulate the production of new white blood cells.

Hope this helps. Good luck on your first lab work results. Keep LOLing!

Dr. Bob


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