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Can HIV damage the brain

May 3, 2005

I am HIV+ with CD4 count 555 and V.L undetectable for the last six month. A year ago I was very ill and my right leg and my right hand was paralize (useless). Once I got treatement with HIV my leg is ok, But I have a problem with my right hand (i can not use it at all) and the Doctor said that the virous damaged part of my brain. What do you think? and what kind of treatement do you suggest?

Response from Dr. Horwath

It is true that HIV infection can cause some neurological problems, including hand and arm weakness. This usually happens in people with very advanced AIDS (CD4 < 100, and high viral load) and other medical complications (like opportunistic infections) going on.

I don't know what the cause of your right hand paralysis is. If you had an opportunistic infection like toxoplasma or CNS lymphoma, then this might explain the persistent problem with your hand. If you have had a CT scan or MRI scan of the brain, then this would give you information on whether other medical complications could explain this. Consult your doctor andask him about other test findings or other diagnoses that might explain the condition of your hand.

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