|Combination therapy or prophylaxsis ?
May 29, 2003
I am a 33 year woman who has been living with HIV for 12 years. In the last month I developed bacterial pneumonia while on holiday. My CD4 count was 210 and viral load 83,200. I am not currently on any treatment and now want to know whether I can delay combination therapy and just take prophylaxsis for PCP or whether it's best to treat now? Many thanks in advance
| Response from Dr. Young
Thank you for your questions.
With a CD4 count of 210 and recent history of bacterial pneumonia, I'd be thinking of starting HIV therapies in the near future. Indeed, a case of "recurrent" bacterial pneumonia, irrespective of CD4 count is an AIDS-defining illness; CD4s of 210 are very close (close enough not to clinically matter) to meeting the laboratory cut-point for an AIDS diagnosis too.
So, yes, I'd recommend starting combination therapies for HIV. Additionally, I'd recommend starting Bactrim (or another drug) to prevent Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) and having a pneumococcal vaccination ("Pneumovax").
Good luck. BY
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