May 13, 2006
My brother has AIDS since 1998--he looks well but he wrote to me confused about stopping his medications because he had undetectable platelet count and his doctor said it was probably the medications--his CD4 count is very low-154 and viral load is 50-liver alt is 63--I am a nurse but I am not very familiar in this disease. I believe that thrombocytopenia is a complication of full blown AIDS and my his counts I think he is in his last stage-I don't think he should stop the medications-but I would think he should be in the hospital getting platelet transfusion?? Pleas help-I don't know what to advise him.
Response from Dr. Holodniy
Low platelet counts can be associated with HIV infection and do not necessarily occur only with late stage disease. It can also occur as a result of medications or many other kinds of diseases. A CD4 count of 154 and a viral load is actually pretty good, and although a CD4 count of < 200 confers an AIDS diagosis, these numbers do not indicate end stage disease. There are many issues that may be underlying his doctor's decisions and I don't think all the facts are clear about what is going on here. What are the other blood counts, has he had a bone marrow biopsy, or is this just idiopathic thromobocytopenia? I think you need more info.
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