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poppers use and CD4 decline on treatment?

Jul 25, 2010

Dear Dr. One year ago I started taking Atripla, at the time my values were (VL:27000, CD4:310, CD4%:18). At 6 months of treatment my values were (VL:undetectable, CD4:540, CD4%: 34). However the last two test showed a gradual decrease in both CD4 absolute and percentage (at 9 months, VL: undetectable, CD4:510, CD4%28 and at 12 months, VL: undetectable, CD4:460, CD4%:27). Over the past several months, I have been using poppers on my own, several times a week. I just read on this and several websites about potential negative effects of poppers on immune system. My question is; Would you tend to believe that the decrease in CD4 absolute and percentage is due to poppers utilisation (given that my VL remained undetectable)? Second question is: I stopped using poppers last week. Would you think that my CD4 absolute and percentage will increase by my next blood test? Or the damage the poppers might cause is irreparable? I understand that there is not much scientific consensus on poppers use and the effect on the immune system but I would like to get your personal opinion based on experience.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

We don't have good controlled studies to answer the question, however many providers have seen these kinds of cases anecdotally. I would bet that your numbers will look better if you stop using poppers or any other recreational drugs.

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