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Unusual Results
Nov 16, 2008

This is a follow up to the question i asked earlier.It was a viral culture and a product enhanced reverse transcriptase was done which was positive.In addition to the low CD4 count and the opportunistic infection of pulmonary tuberculosis,generalised pruritic dermatitis weight loss,i am worried that i may be infected by a subtype of virus that may not be detected by the common antibody test kits.Again treatment is being held back while CD 4 continues to decline.We do not know how to proceed.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

If the HIV culture test was performed and was positive, then they have undoubtably informed you as to your HIV infection status. Is HIV viral load testing available? That will give you another piece of information and is useful to follow HIV treatment responses. That said, I don't know what the official policy is there about when HIV treatment can begin (i.e., what CD4 count threshold or other lab parameters). If the CD4 count is consistently below 200 then HIV treatment should begin. However, caution is advised when also taking anti-TB medications, which can interact with some HIV meds.



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