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Diagnosed one month ago
Feb 6, 2004

Hello Dear doctor, please excuse my English as it is not my first language. I was diagnosed one month ago and started with a doctor right away. My Cd4 count was 423 and my VL was eleven thousand, the doctor said he considered I shouldn't start any treatment yet, anyway he gave my some vitamins to take everyday. I've been a healthy person all my life, I'm not on drugs and try to practice some sport frequently, before I was diagnosed everything was fine with my health, but after knowing I've been having diarrhea every day, not that I have to rush to the restroom, but I used to be a regular person and now I wake up in the middle of the night and need to go, it is not severe but it is diarrhea. I've also had the night sweats, not every night, but I've had them. Also swollen lymphs (I don't know if that's how it must be written), not constantly, but I can notice it from time to time, it comes and goes.

Besides I've been trying to over-eat, afraid that I could loose weight. First I ate anything a would find, then I realized that it is not the best for me to eat unhealthy food, so I have been taking a lot of fruit...could this be the reason of the diarrhea? Should I not abuse dairy products? Could my stress be pushing the HIV really fast and I am really having the symptons? and my last question, could have I got a strange mutation of the virus that is specially dangerous, if so, what? are not meds going to help me? I am really afraid that all this is going really fast, my doctor said, considering my counts, everything could be fine for a long time, but I think that considering the symptons it is progressing really fast. Thank you dear doctor.

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello, it sounds like you are going to be fine. With a viral load of 11,000 and CD4 count of 423 it is unlikely that your symptoms are related to HIV infection. Rather, the change in diet and stress are probably the culprits for the health changes that you have experienced. It is unlikely that you have a malignant mutation in view of the relatively low viral load. I would agree with your doctor that even without treatment things will likely be fine for a long time. When it is time for you to start medications they will work well as long as you are adherent with therapy and don't miss doses. At this point, go back to your previous diet, exercise regularly , and keep an eye on CD4 counts and viral load levels every three months or so. Let us know how things go. Good luck!



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