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West Nile Virus
Jul 29, 2001

Hi Dr. Mark, I live in Atlanta and we have just had our first confirmation of the West Nile Virus. Our home is in a relatively wooded area with a small pond, which is a breeding ground for mosquitos.

My question to you is, would an HIV-positive person with a cd4 of 320 and undetectable viral load be at anymore risk of contracting the West Nile Virus than an uninfected individual? Are there any additional precautions an HIV Positive person should take?

You are always so helpful to people, and have been so nice to me the two or three other times I have asked questions here, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope that when a cure is found, that you will be the one who finds it and you win the Nobel prize for iit.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Great question, no real answer but some speculation. The human cases seen here in the US where symptoms and neurologic disease was severe have been predominantly in the elderly. This implies that those (the elderly in this case) with less efficient immune systems, may be at greater risk. Being viral infection, it requires both antibody and cell associated immune responses. Thus, people with less intact cellular immunity may be at greater risk. Given a CD4 count of 320, you are still in a relatively safe range, if the lack of other viral or opportunistic infections in people with those kinds of CD4 counts can be a guide. MH



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