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initial dx of AIDS after PCP and esophogitis; what next
Sep 25, 2000

My brother was just diagnosed with AIDS after a lengthy bout of esophogitis and PCP. He spent three days in the hospital where he was finally told that he had AIDS...no time to adjust to a positive HIV test result. My question is this: How sick is he and what can we expect in terms of additional OI's to be wary of at this stage in the game? (No test results yet as far as T-cells, viral load.)

Response from Dr. Feinberg

If your brother got PCP, then his T-cells are most likely less than 200, and probably significantly less than 200. He is potentially vulnerable to a broad range of other infections, so as soon as he completes 21 days of treatment for PCP he should begin on a small, daily preventative dose of PCP medicine, such as trimethoprim-sulfa (Bactrim, Septra) or dapsone. Then the best thing he can do to get better and to protect himself from other problems is to take potent combination (at least 3 drugs) medications against HIV. The overall change will be gratifying (he'll gain weight, recover energy, etc), if he's ready to make the commitment to taking HIV meds. Of course, there can be side effects from the HIV medicines, but these can be changed around or managed in most people.


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