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Are Tcells depleted by non-OI's?
Jun 26, 1998

I understand that T cells are the big guns of the immune system but am wondering if they are depleted by non-opportunistic infections such as Sinus infections or ear infections or abcessed teeth etc. and how these more common infections affect the way HIV drugs supress the virus. Thank you

Response from Dr. Currier

The types of infections you refer to are all bacterial infections and they are common in HIV infection. HIV, the virus is thought to infect T cells and kill them. These other infections do not directly infect T cells, but when people have these infections they may indirectly cause HIV to replicate which will cause further decline in T cells. So indirectly you could say that these infections can deplete T cells. There is some evidence that recurrent bacterial infections can cause more rapid progression of HIV.

I do not know of any way that these infections would interfere with the way drugs work on the virus.

Hope this helps.

-JC



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