|High VL & Diarrhea
Sep 2, 2007
Hello Dr., I was recently diagnosed (July 07) as HIV positive. I have been feeling flu like symptoms for the last 2 months and have lost about 20 lbs. I normally weigh about 175 but I'm down to 155 and look skinny. Anyway, my main question has to do with chronic diarrhea. I have been suffering from chronic diarrhea every day. When I wake up I can hardly make it to the bathroom in time. Every time I eat it's a race to the bathroom. It's often very watery and the cramps are eye poppingly painfull. My labs just came back and I start meds tomorrow. My CD4 count is 170 and my viral load was 1.7 million. I know these numbers are not good - but how serious are they? I'm especially concerned about the VL. Can this be causing my diarrhea or should I see a GI doc? Most days recently I only feel like moving from the bed to the couch. Is all this related? Thank you for the generosity of your time.
| Response from Dr. Holodniy
Your CD4 count is in the low-moderate range. That means you have AIDS by definition because your CD4 count is < 200. This puts people at greater risk for developing additional opportunistic infections, that could be contributing to your GI symptoms. Most GI AIDS infections happen when a person's CD4 count is < 50. One approach is to start the HIV meds and see if the symptoms go away. If not, then an investigation of your GI tract for other infections is in order.
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