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AIDS combined with another STD
Dec 20, 1999

What will the affect of syphillis have on a person with a very low T- cell count? What Kind of treatment is available?What can He expect?

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Other infections, such as pneumonia, and vaccinations, such as the flu shot, have been shown to increase viral load when the other infection is acute (new). This is because both infections and vaccinations stimulate your CD4 cells which are the main target of HIV. When CD4 cells are stimulated (activated), HIV reproduces itself more readily. With treatment for the other infection (or with time after a flu shot, your viral load will tend to return to its baseline (whatever is currently normal for you). So the answer is that syphilis may increase a person's voral load and decrease their CD4 cell count, at least temporarily. Syphilis is easily treated with penicillin or other antibiotics if you're allergic to penicillin. With treatment of the syphilis, you can expect your viral load to return close to the value it was before you got syphilis. Predicting exactly what will happen to your CD4 cells is a bit more difficult.

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