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will interferon affect my cd4 count and my viralload
Mar 7, 2005

i currently on hiv meds i have been positive for 11 years now ,my cd4 is around 540 and my viral load is about 119,00 i have just been diagnosed with hep c and i have many fears of taking the interferon treatment that my dr. suggested will it affect my hiv cd4 counts and my viral load count should i think twice about taking this treatment my units are at 20 million i dont know what genotype i am yet and have not decided whether to have a biopsy done yet i am very frightened i was just diagnosed yesterday and need help to make my decisions thank you kerryann

Response from Dr. McGovern

I would agree that it would be a good idea to have a liver biopsy to determine how much disease you have.

Pegylated interferon alfa 2a has actually been shown to decrease HIV viral load by a substantial amount, so there is a clinical benefit. Many HIV positive patients in the APRICOT trial who had low levels of HIV virus became undetectable while on treatment.

As for CD4 counts, the counts themselves go down but the CD4 percentages stay the same or increase. That is why the best marker to follow when you are on pegylated interferon alfa2a is the CD4 percentage.

Good luck. Dr. McGovern

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