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T-Cell Count Now 53
Aug 17, 2002

I've written to you before regarding my niece with AIDS. She just had her other lung collapse (this was the good one), had surgery to repair it (25 removed) and found out that the Aspergillus has spread to it, too. Now she has been put on Cancidas (IV) (was on Sporonox since 3/02). Her weight was down to 73 lbs when admitted to the hospital. She's now up to 80 again. However, her recent T-Cell count is now 53 (in May it was 153). She has always been on AZT Therapy, however in June, she was taken off the Sustiva because of vomiting. Could this be the reason for the sudden low in T-Cell count? Her VL is now 850. She tries to say that because of her recent lung surgery, this is why her T-Cell count is so low, and the Associate Dr. (not her regular one), didn't disagree with her! With her weight so low, Aspergillus in both lungs, and now her T-cell count dropping over 100 points, shouldn't we be having conversations about what might be happening in the next couple of months? We really need some straight answers about her prognosis.

Thanks so much for your help,


Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

Dear Sleepless,

I am hoping that you are posting your question to some of the other forums where they are answering your types of queries (such as the opportunistic infections forum). A prognosis is an educated guess that can only be done by your niece's treatment team. It will be worth talking with your niece's team to weigh the options and to talk with your niece about her preferences for treatments.

While this sounds like a decline, it could be temporary and require aggressive treatment. Without knowing your niece it would be impossible to tell. Please get in touch with your niece's health care team to discuss some real options.

I wish you the best in the work ahead of you!

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