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recurrent cryptococcal meningitis
Mar 15, 2001

My husband was diagnosed with AIDS, toxoplasmosis, cryptococcal meningitis, and CMV in 1996. He had been very healthy up until about a year ago. He was taken to the hospital and the first week he was there, he lost his speach, ability to walk, ability to understand & sometimes not know who anyone was. His dr treated him for all the problems and sent him home. He started having seizures that lasted 40 plus minutes. He started getting stronger and doing things for himself up until about a week ago. He no longer eats, has severe headaches, and no energy. He gets tube feedings so he is getting some nutrition. I took him to the hospital this past week and the dr told me to stop all medications and let him die. The crypto has come back. He gets ampho B 3x a week. Is there anything alse that can be done or is it the end?

Response from Dr. Feinberg

It sounds like your husband's physician is attributing his neurological deterioration to the recurrence of the cryptococcal meningitis. If indeed seizures and his other problems are due to cryptococcal infection, then unfortunately the disease is very far advanced and unlikely to respond to medication. The only other things that can be done are to optimize his HIV medications in order to boost his immune system. However, even if there are combinations of HIV meds available, it may take longer than he has to make a difference. You didn't say anything about his T cells, viral load, etc-- from his current condition and from his doctor's recommendation I'd assume that these aspects of his HIV disease are not doing well, and that all reasonable angles have been pursued. If not, bring this up to his doctor as soon as possible. Good luck!


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