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What's the prognosis?
Feb 14, 2006

My friend has just been diagnosed with aids about two weeks ago. She has been hospitalised (in a state hospital without a lot of resources - we live in Africa). She has deteriorated rapidly over the last week. We did not know she was HIV+ until she became ill very suddenly. At the moment her CD4 count is 17. A sonar done last week revealed that her liver is increased in size, coarse with increased echogenicity; her kidneys and spleen are both increased in size as well with increased echogenicity. There are free fluid in her abdomen and pelvis and she has a resistive infection in her lungs. Her feet are also very swollen. I spoke to her docter earlier today and he said they don't know why her organs are increased in size. They will do another sonar as well as biopsies. I am very, very concerned and don't know what to do. The doctor said this is not the end of the road. I hope he is right.

Response from Dr. Horwath

I also do not know the cause of the increased size of her liver, kidneys and spleen. Her prognosis will depend largely on determining the cause for the enlarged organs, find an effective antibiotic for her pneumonia, and treating her with antiretroviral medications. You are correct to be concerned, but if she responds to treatment then there is still good reason to be hopeful for her improvment. I also hope that he is right. May God bless your friend and you.



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