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Low CD4 Count, Heavy Breathing

Apr 29, 2003

Hi Doctor,

My friend was recently diagnosed with HIV last month. We just got his CD4 count back and it was of 216. He just started meds this week.

First question...will his CD4 Count drop to AIDS diagnosis (CD4<200) during his initial startng of treatment (immune reconstitution) and if that happens will he be at risk for a OI.

He currently has no symptoms (fevers, chills thrush, general malaise, etc...).

Although, for the past year 1/2 up to the present, I've noticed he has very heavy breathing while being inactive (watching TV reading or just sitting down). I sometimes have to ask if hes sleeping becuase it sounds like he snoring but actually hes not.

What could be causing this? Is this a precursor to a respiratory OI since his CD4 count was initially so low?


Response from Dr. Holodniy

Although a few people might get a slight decline in CD4 count after starting treatment, this would be unusual. Most will have an increase. Unlikely he would be at any greater risk for OIs. Unlikely that a long standing breathing problem would be related to an OI.

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