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HIV stages
May 17, 2006

Hello - would really appreciate some advice if possible. Just found out that sister-in-law is living with HIV - sounds like it is in advanced stages (HIV status was discovered when she got PCP) not sure where she is with CD4 count but assume it must have got pretty low for her to have got PCP - she's now on treatment (not sure which combination) but I'm unclear about a number of things. Having already gone through one bout of PCP (which she seems to have recovered well from), is this likely to happen again? How soon might this happen? Understand that no one can put a 'timeline' on HIV but for someone who has already arrived at advanced stage, what is the outlook like? Is it the case that at some point treatment will just 'stop' working and AIDS-related illness will take over? I want to be properly informed so any advice would be most appreciated. Thank you

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

First off, because she has had PCP, your sister has an AIDS diagnosis (CDC class C, WHO stage IV). If she is able to adhere to secondary (preventative) prophylaxis with sulfa medications, it's quite unlikely that the PCP will return.

While seriously immunosuppressed, if she's able to stay on her HIV medications, she should see a 100-200 CD4 cell increase over the next year-- indeed, assuming that her HIV viral load reaches (and stays) undetectable levels, I'd expect her health to be well and stable for a very long time.

Good luck to you; good health to your sister. BY



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