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Painful/itchy rash on anus with low CD4 count

Sep 30, 2012

I was just diagnosed with HIV three weeks ago, I had to go to the hospital for CPD. At the hospital they informed me that my Cd4 was 28. They told me it was very low and the doctor wanted me to get started on my anti-viral meds after I had a couple weeks of treatment for the CPD. The doctor was not comfortable perscibing me the anti-virals, and he refered me to a local HIV clinic. However, I cannot be seen at this clinic until Oct 8, so I have to wait two more weeks.

My first question, I have a painful and itchy rash on my anus. When I have a bowel movement it is very painful and has even cause so pretty bad bleeding (very bloody today). Is this HIV related? I don't know if my doctor will treat this or not? I cannot wait until Oct 9 to see the doctor at the clinic.

My second question is about my CD4 count of 28. I asked the doctor what that means, but he was vague. I am worried about getting sick. I am almost done with my CPD treatment but I am still feeling very sick, and have experienced fever and night sweats at times. I am very lost and how I live life until I get treatment for the HIV.

Thank you for any information.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

It is hard to determine what the rash may be. Given that your CD4 count is 28, it certainly could be HIV related. Having a CD4 count of 28 means you have an AIDS diagnosis (any CD4 count < 200 means you have AIDS) and are at risk for serious other kinds of infections because your immune system has been significantly damaged by HIV. You doctor is correct, in that HIV treatment is required immediately. Many of your symptoms are likely reversible with HIV treatment, which will also get your virus under control so your CD4 count and immune system can recover.

CD4 count and viral load
confusion with tests and exposure

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