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MAC and ME, Need Info.
Mar 20, 2001

I have been told my husband has MAC. I dont know anything about it. Can you tell me how serious it is, and the survival rate. I need to know exactly what Im dealing with in a realistic manner. Please answer. Im desperate!

Response from Dr. Feinberg

MAC is a disseminated (goes to many parts of the body) systemic (has generalized, whole-body symptoms like weight loss, fatigue, fever) infection that HIV+ people get when their immune systems have suffered a lot of damage, usuakky with CD4 (T4) cells less than 50. There are combinations of antibiotics that wrok reasonable well in controlling MAC. Another one of the best things you can do if you have MAC is to take the best possible combination treatment for HIV, because the boost in the immune system taht results is very important in controlling MAC as well. In fact, if your T cells improve enough, your body can sometimes fight the MAC successfully without the MAC antibiotics.

Without any treatment, survival would be marked in months. With successful MAC treatment, survival might be a few years. With successful combination treatment for HIV, survival could be years.

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