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What types of problems mean HIV is now AIDS
Sep 6, 2001

My Daughter was diagnosed with HIV in 1994 while pregnant. At the time the doctor estimated she had only been infected 6 months due to symptoms she had in that time frame. She is very ashamed of it and tries very hard to hide it from everyone. She is taking Comdivir (?) and Viromis. Last summer she was diagnosed with cervical dysplasia and had a minor operation to have a part of her cervix removed. Several days later she was hospitalized with a serious infection that required 3 types of IV antibiotics. During her hospital stay a Social worker came in the room and ask about her not taking her med's properly and she swore she was. In early spring she had another bad PAP and had another minor surgery to remove more cells. Then in June they said it was cervical cancer and they needed to do a hysterectomy. When she went into have her pre-op her white blood cell count was dangerously low so they put her in the hospital to treat this and postponed the suregery for 3 weeks. She had the surgery and one chemo treatment. Then she was back in the hospital with an infection. Since then in the last month she had a growth in her throat removed and was hospitalized again with a serious kidney infection and a cyst on her kidney. Now they are wanting to do a colonoscopy for blood in her stool. Are these all signs of opportunistic infection and would these be considered AIDS now? I need info to help me prepare for what we are facing .Thanks...

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Of all the problems you described, only the cervical cancer is an "AIDS-defining condition". Whether the blood in her stool will turn out to be part of an AIDS-defining illness remains to be determined. The social worker asked her about taking her meds correctly because your daughter has had her HIV disease progress. She should be monitored for how her immune system (CD4 cells) and HIV infection (viral load test) are responding to medication. If she has a suboptimal response, she should have her medications changed, and perhaps also have an HIV resistance blood test to guide the choice of a new drug combination. It is possible that she'll have a good response to different medications.

Mitro Insuf
Runny nose

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