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Primary Biliary Cirrhosis and HIV
Apr 3, 2011

I recently was exposed to HIV in December 2010. I guess I am one of the 50% of people that show symptoms after initial exposure. The 3rd week of January 2011 I started getting dizzy. I never miss work - and was unable to get out of bed to go to work. I couldn't eat. I went to the ER on Jan 28th - they didn't test for HIV - but the tests they did do included liver enzyme tests. The following week my primary care physician (he was new to me) called me and told me to come to see him that day (it was a Thursday - Feb 3rd). I told him I would try - I was very weak but thought I could get there. I did get there - he stewed over my ER labs - and then sent me to his lab where they drew more blood and did a urinalysis. He then sent me to a radiology place to have them do an ultrasound on me - my side was hurting. I think he was trying to rule out gal bladder issues. The next day, Friday Feb 4th - I was at home - hurting, sleeping and the doctor called. He said he didn't like any of the results - he'd just received them from the tests he had done. He told me to go to the ER and that he would call them - and that he wanted them to do a CT scan of my abdomen. They did do this and more labs. After about 6 hours they released me and said I might have a "fatty liver."

The next week I was referred to a local transplant clinic - the doctor did blood work that consisted of me filling 17 viles of blood. The next day his nurse called and asked me to come up, which I dragged myself to them - still not going to work. The nurse explained that the ERISA test showed possible HIV antibodies, but that the elevated liver enzymes could be "mocking" this - but to know for sure I would need to do an HIV test (Western Blot) which I did. The following Wednesday, Feb 16th - I was summoned and told that I tested positive for HIV. The other lab work however showed that I had been "exposed" to "A" but did not have B or C. I don't have Herpes, syphillis Gonorrhea, or any other STD's. My cholesterol is 147. The only "abnormal" results are my liver enzymes. On March 3rd my enzymes were as follows: Billirubin Total: 1.2; Billierubin Direct: .06; AST: 193; ALT: 160; ALP: 457 and GGT: 645. On March 3rd my physician scheduled a biopsy - which I had on March 15th. He received the results the day after - and he and the Radiologist have decided to send the slides to The Mayo Clinic for a 2nd opinion. He also prescribed Ursodiol - which I understand is a treatment for primary biliary cirrhosis - which from all I've read online - with my high GGT seems like a death sentence. My question is - if I'm in STAGE II - is it possible HIV is doing all this - messing with my liver? And that if, during STAGE II - my body can raise it's CD4 count and lower the viral load on it's own (which is what my Inf Dis doctor is hoping for) that this may "go away." - Or is the situation as precarious as I think - that you can't keep living very long with such elevated GGT?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The testing history for HIV is a little unclear to me. I am not sure what "possible HIV antibodies" and then "tested positive for HIV" actually means. Do you have records that indicate a screening HIV antibody test and confirmatory western blot test are both positive?



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