Starting Chemo for KS
May 14, 2006
This is an amazing site thank you.
I was tested posative March 16, 2006. I am 46 and have been in good shape I have probably been HIV+ for 3-4 years. I was tested because I got KS it was biopsed. two weeks latter I started HAART and CD4 was 199, vierial load was 10,000. On April 17th meet with cancer DR, said he could clear it all up but he said I have not been on HAART long enough and it may get rid of the KS over time and my CD4 was to low for Chemo. The next week April 24th I had 5 Cat Scan's they all were negative. I need to mention the KS was the very fast growing and still is. It freeks me out. Psychologicaly I wanted to kill myself. I just saw my HIV Dr. on May 20th 6 weeks on HAART CD4 was 318, Vierial was 1,320. The Dr seemed very pleased. The KS has continued to get worse. I see my Cancer Dr next week May 16th.
My questions are. Am I strong enough for Chemo and is that the best way to end the KS? Does it still leave Marks? How long should my HAART therapy take before the KS is in remision? How high can I see CD4 go? and Vierial lode drop? How long do I have to live? I do not do drugs, I live healthy. I am scared.
Thank you for your help.
Response from Dr. Holodniy
All of what your doctor explained to you is correct. In many cases once HIV is undercontrol KS lesions will melt away. This is not always the case and does require some chemotherapy, particularly for aggressive cases or those that involve internal organs (which from your report does not appear to be the case in you). You have had a great initial response to HIV treatment and I predict on the next blood test your HIV viral load will be undetectable and CD4 count in the mid-300s. It may get to 400 or more in a few months. Your CD4 count has improved significantly and you should be able to tolerate chemotherapy just fine. KS treatment involves intravenous administration of medicines at various intervals over time. Your oncologist will explain to you which strategy he will be using in your case. It is hard to predict about resolution rates or disappearance as reponses are very individual. But usually after the first treatment or two you can see very dramatic reduction in the lesions. Although you are concerned about the future and longevity, you are actually in great shape and consider this a speed bump in the road.
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