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Follow-up on son (PWA) chills for over 9 months

Oct 12, 1998

As a mother of a son with AIDS, thank you for answering my earlier question. Recent blood tests revealed his TNF is elevated. I looked this up in AIDS Treatment Glossary where it refers to "fever, "chills"...and probably helps HIV grow"... Also, have learned from our son that strong doses of Percocet with Advil can alleviate or sometimes ward off the chills being so severe. Would you think that could have some relation to the signal from the brain being dulled; therefore, the chills are not felt so strongly? He has severe sweats(no fever). Started 11/97. Very wearing!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Sounds like you have been through alot. TNF stands for tumor necrosis factor. It is a natural chemical that the body makes in response to various kinds of infections or cancers (hence the name tumor where it was first isolated). Many different cells in the body, in many different organs (including the brain) make TNF. It is elevated in HIV infection. You are correct, it can also help HIV grow. It also is one of the chemicals responsible for causing fever, chills, sweats, among other symptoms. It is very possible that the medicines you are giving him are decreasing the levels of this chemical and thus helping with these symptoms. MH

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