Sep 25, 2005
I was diagnosed with AIDS and KS in Dec. of 2002. I have been on meds since Jan. of 2003. My Infectious Disease Doctor at the time said he wanted to first concentrate on getting my HIV in check with Meds before addressing the KS. By the time he referred me to an Oncologist it had spread throughout my entire body, but was limited to my skin only. The Meds I was on made the virus undectable, but my CD4 count would never go above 200. For two years I have been on chemo to supress the KS. Finally, after switching doctors twice I found one that was willing to switch my meds. I am currently taking Kaletra and Truvada. Within the last three months my CD4 has climbed to 583 and an undetectable virus load. Now to my question. My Oncologist has tried taking me off the chemo once since my CD4 count has risen, but within about a six week time frame I discovered a couple of new, small lesions on my left arm, so he put me back on chemo. It's my understanding that even when your CD4 count increases your body has to actually train them how to work against fighting infections and cancer. My question is how long does it take the body to train them. I have been unable to find the answer to this question. No doctor can tell me and I haven't been able to find any information on the internet. Your help in answering this question would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Troy in Kentucky
Response from Dr. Young
Thanks for your post.
Your's is a difficult question that unfortunately has no clear answer. Usually, we'd expect that with a rising CD4 cell count, KS lesions eventually go away. I've seen this countless times in the past.
The good news is that it appears that your KS is limited to the skin and as such is less fearsome and usually responds without the clear need (for all patients) to use systemic (IV) chemotherapy.
How soon after the increase in CD4s would I expect to see the reversal in the tide of KS? Probably within 4-6 months after starting on "sucessful" treatment. With your recent increase, I'd expect this to happen sometime in the near future.
Good luck, keep us informed of your progress. BY
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