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Disseminated Mac
Oct 15, 2009

My daughter has Mac infection. She has 0 cd-4 and her viral load has exceded 100,000. She has been in the hospital for seven weeks with no chance of getting out.She keeps developing bacterias such as C-Difficile, and MRSA,and she has no white blood cells,or red blood cells and her hemglobin levels continuously drop causing her to numerous blood transfusions. She is very ill, my question is if there is a cure for this MAC and all things given in account is my daughter in danger of dying. I need to know and I feel that her doctors are not being honest with us. They did however tell us though that my daughter has to continue to receive IV antibiotics to survive.Please help! Give it to me straight.

Response from Dr. McGowan

I am very sorry to hear about how sick your daughter is. There is hope for her even though she is very sick. That hope comes from the fact that she has the capacity to rebuild her immune system if she can get her virus suppressed with medication. She has been more vulnerable to these infections because her immune system is out of balance and that can be corrected. In other words, the underlying problem has to be addressed too, which gives her an opportunity that some others with serious infections do not have

Infections such as C. diff and MRSA are complications of her being in the hospital. They can be very serious and need to be treated very aggressively. The MRSA often will need IV antibiotics. Suppressing the MAC can also be done with a combination of 2-3 medications (it takes weeks to get it under control, but benefits can be seen in a few days). Treatment can be stopped in the future once she gets her HIV suppressed and her CD4 count increased. It can be a rough few weeks getting through this but I have seen many recover and live healthful lives even after being so sick. She needs encouragement and support to keep fighting, that is the best thing you can supply.

Hope your daughter feels better soon,

Joe



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