Jul 23, 2004
please do not make the assumption that this question serves some worried well purpose. I simply would like this answered for informational purposes.
Have you ever seen - have you ever heard of - is it possible that - someone with HIV developed Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma despite having normal t cell levels, despite these t cells functioning properly (by various testing methods)?
If the answer is yes - that some O.I.s and cancers can occur at high t cell levels, then would going on antiretrovirals be pointless? From what I have gathered, antiretrovirals are useful in melting down a melignancy, sometimes without the need of chemo. But in a case such as the one I mention above, would chemo be the only sensible approach?
Response from Dr. Pierone
It is possible for someone with HIV and normal immune function to develop Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. You are correct that the appropriate approach would be chemotherapy in this situation.
However, because the integrity of the immune response to malignancy goes beyond T cell function, it would be prudent to begin antiretroviral therapy as well. HAART would not necessarily need to be started at the onset of chemotherapy, but since this scenario is not very common we don't have definitive answers.
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