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hiv+ plus pml living- How do I increase my Cd4 cells?
Apr 1, 2010

i'm a hiv+ and pml survivor. About my daily drug regimine, is their and advancement in boosting the cd4 count with a specific drug? what suggestion do u have if any?

Response from Mr. Vergel

I am so glad you survived PML!

Some people are discordant responders to HAART. Their viral load becomes undetectable but their CD4 cells do not increase a lot.

The choice of HAART combo may make a difference in those patients. There seems to be a small but significant larger increase in CD4 cells in those who use a norvir-boosted protease combination compared to a non nucleoside one. But I do not think I have seen a study that switches anyone with discordant response from a non-nuke to a protease inhibitor to see if their CD4 cells boost up.

a research cytokine called Interleukin -7 is being studied now for those who have not had a robust CD4 cell increase after months on HAART. But the studies are on early phase and we will have to wait. Interleukin-2 showed good increases in CD4 cells counts but it seemed that people had too many side effects and they did not live longer even with higher CD4 cells produced by this therapy.

There are claims not proven by large controlled studies that show that a supplement combination called K Pax (link )increased CD4 cells in patients. But that was a small study that has not been replicated yet in larger settings, so there is still debate on that.

Most people live healthy if they have undetectable viral load and CD4 cells under 200 cells per ml, so I would not horribly concerned. Also, it takes months or years to see a substantial CD4 increase in some patients after they reach undetectable HIV viral load.

Also, try to keep a healthy weight, eat balanced, exercise and manage stress since these important life style factors may improve response of anti-retrovirals (anecdotal information that needs to be researched).

Nelson



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