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could I really have PCP?
Feb 11, 2000

On a recent vacation I went to an urgent care facility and was diagnosed/started treatment for asthma-induced bronchitis (I'm not asthmatic but was wheezing badly and couldn't catch my breath). Upon my return home approximately 10 days later I visited my doctor who started treating me for PCP. I've been poz for 10 years now, not taking any meds, no previous problems, viral load around 20,000 and t-cells 600+.....could I really have an aids related illness? with my "numbers" I couldn't believe his diagnosis but thought, hey, he's the doctor and besides the treatment couldn't hurt me...(it did.....after 7 days I had a horrible reaction to the bactrim and subsequently was switched to mepron). I'm fully recovered now but my doctor wants me to continue the mepron(forever?) as a prophylactic. He couldn't confirm his diagnosis without a bronchostopy (sp?) but said if I'm hiv positive and have pneumonia then it's aids related pneumonia...PCP. Can you help me out here? I'm a little confused.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

I don't agree with your doctor. PCP with a T cell count of 600 would be extraordinary (it occasionally happens at T cells above 200, but really shouldn't at your level because your high count means your immune system is still pretty sound). Lots of HIV+s get garden-variety kinds of pneumonia-- after all, these germs are powerful enough to make people with entirely normal immune systems sick. In your case I would not advise chronic preventive therapy for PCP; I sincerely doubt that was what you had.

Face pain
Active pneumocystis pneumonia

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