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cmv of the brain

Jul 17, 2007

My 41 year old partner was diagnosed with CMV of the brain @ 1 year ago. His infectious disease doctor of 12 1/2 years has given no hope and we have been told we can only maintain the dementia-like effects until it progresses. He has been on a Foscarnet IV for one year. Is this IV dangerous for this amount of time? I've also been told by another experienced doctor that the CMV of the brain can be reversed over time with the proper combination of meds to bring the viral load undetectable. His viral is at the lowest ever (58,000). He had CMV of the eyes @ 3 years ago. Could/should the CMV of the brain been prevented? I feel his disease hasn't been managed properly. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Horwath

CMV encephalitis is very difficult to treat, but intravenous Foscarnet is the appropriate treatment. CMV infections can be better controlled when the immune system recovers. At CD4 counts above 100, the treatment is more effective.

The viral load of 58,000 is still quite high and suggests that your partner's antiretroviral treatment is not controlling the HIV infection. His HIV may have developed resistance to the treatments he is taking or has taken in the past. However, this does not mean that his illness was not properly managed. Resistance can occur for a variety of reasons, but does not mean that the treatment was mismanaged.

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