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Night Sweats not concerning my specialist enough?

Apr 12, 2009

Hi there, I'm a 21 year old english man living in France. I was diagnosed with HIV in february 2008. Since my diagnosis my CD4 has fluctuated around 550-650, and my viral load started at 500, went up to 20 000 and is now down to 10 000 (im not on meds yet!).

I live in a small town with no HIV support group; my specialist is the only one available, but i find her disinterested and unconcerned with my wellbeing; then again her very straight forward attitude may just be overshadowing my panic attacks. Today i went for my 3 monthly checkup, and i explained that i had been having night sweats as of late. She asked if i had diarrhea, no, if i had a fever, not particularly, and so "goodbye then, see you in September!".

I then went home and looked up night sweats on this site; it was marked that night sweats are precursors to oppurtunistic infections. Should i somehow get a second opinion on my nightsweats or trust my specialist that its nothing to worry about? Can somebody with a CD4 above 550 get oppurtunistic infections? Or are they associated with people with a dangerously low immune system? And are nightsweats a side effect of HIV even when not related to an oppurtunistic infection?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Night sweats are a very nonspecific symptom that can occur with a variety of infections, malignancies, and mental health issues like panic attacks or post-traumatic stress disorder. Given that your CD4 count is 550, it is extremely unlikely that this would be related to opportunistic infections. Yes, it could be related to HIV infection itself. If it persists, I would take your temperature and record it during these episodes and bring that information to your doctor the next time you see her.

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