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Drop in red blood cells fairly new patient

May 18, 2013

Hey Doctor,

I am a fairly newly diagnosed patient on Truvada and Insentress and am also a diabetic. I have been a diabetic for over 20 years. During my recent labs 10 days ago my red blood cell count has dropped to the lower percentage of 3.97. My doctor just sent me an email informing that I should come in to check out, and investigate the problem. I have been meeting the challenges of both HIV and diabetes with a courageous spirit but am nervous about my red blood cell count having something to do with kidneys or a side effect of the Truvada. I attend a fairly notable institution for health and want to run any and all test to get this problem under control you have any suggestions and is this something I should worry about?



Response from Dr. Holodniy

You don't indicate what your starting RBC count was or whether you are a man or women, which makes a difference, as the normal levels are different based on gender. It is also important to note what the other laboratory results for your blood counts are and whether anything else was abnormal. An isolated drop in RBC count without changes in other values would likely be not significant unless someone had acute blood loss. It is unlikely the HIV medications you are taking would cause this result in isolation.

truvada vs combivir
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