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Lymphoma and new HIV Diagnosis

Jan 30, 2007

I was diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma B cell in December. I am scheduled to start Chemo treatments in a week. I also had an HIV test as my CD4 count was low and the doctor was concerned. It turns out I'm HIV positive with CD4 of 19 and a viral load of 750,000. Is there hope? What is the drug regimen that you'd recommend. What are the complications that I should be concerned with when getting Chemo? The Chemo method is Chop-Rituxan, 1x every three weeks for 4 treatments followed by 4 weeks of radiation.

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello, and thanks for posting.

There is certainly hope in your situation, even with a dual diagnosis of AIDS and lymphoma.

You are scheduled to receive a standard treatment for lymphoma and should also commence therapy for HIV infection. Although there are no hard and fast rules for initial regimens, a reasonable first choice would be to consider Atripla once at bedtime. Some clinicians would recommend a boosted protease inhibitor regimen in light of the low CD4+ lymphocyte count and high viral load. I would not argue with this approach, but would lean towards using a simple regimen.

The major complications of chemotherapy are bone marrow suppression, gastrointestinal side effects, and infection.

Let us know how things turn out and best of luck to you!

Baby and HIV+ mother
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