Feb 12, 2010
Dr. Young: I'm not sure I'm asking this question in the right catergory, but I'm not sure where else to put it. I've been suffering from head pressure/aches chronically for six months now. Is there any conditions related to HIV that may be causing this, (i don't believe it's meningitis) or could it be a tumor or cancer? My labs are very bad: cd4 24 and vl is off the charts i think. My medication arrives tomarrow. I'm afraid to take it because I may die anyway from whatever is going on in my head. What is my best course of action?
Response from Dr. Young
Hello and thanks for your post.
Yes, your labs are indeed not so good and entirely indicate that it's time to start treatment.
Chronic headaches can come from many different causes- ranging from infections, tumors, blood pressure- and vision issues. As a doctor, I'd want to know if any possible causes of immune reconstitution syndrome, such as fungal (Cyrptococcal) meningitis, or tuberculosis could be the cause. If so, treatment of the underlying problem could be very important-- even before starting on HIV medications. So make sure that your doctor knows about all of your symptoms and ask about what (if any) diagnostic tests need to be run.
What I can say is that with a CD4 count below 50, if you don't start effective medical treatment and care in the near future, there won't be a very happy future. On the other hand, with appropriate medical care and adherence to medications, your future can be quite bright and healthy.
Be well, BY
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