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risk for dementia

Jun 5, 2007

my question is in regards to hiv related dementia. I have not been on treatment for the last 3 years. My cd4 stays around 300 at 20%. My vl started out at 13,000 when I first became positive, then went undetectable for five years on HAART. upon stopping treatment it has routinely been between 40 and 80 thousand. One time it did briefly go >100,000 (in Canada they do not measure higher than this). Currently I am at 50,000. What is my risk for dementia? I have asked both of my Dr's and either they are not worried or they are just trying to humor me because I don't really seem to get a concrete answer. I was under the illusion that most drugs do not cross the blood/brain barrier anyhow. is this correct? I also hear that it is tied more with cd4 count (and my cd4 has never risen above 400 on or off treatment).


Response from Dr. Horwath

The risk of HIV-associated dementia is increased among those with a high viral load, low CD4 count, and older age. Your risk of developing dementia would be decreased with effective antiretroviral treatment. However, these are only statistical risks, and it is not possible to accurately predict exactly what will happen with you.

Do I need to Give Up Meds?

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