Sep 18, 2002
My Husband was diagnosed with AIDS(CD4 count below 200)in June of 1999. He was put on sustiva/combivir. He had several breaks in taking the medication. Partially in part to use of Crack Cocaine. While maintaining a CD4 count above 200. Just recently(in the last five months) he has developed high blood pressure, high cholesterol, numbness in the feet and knees, extreme weight loss, and has had fatigue for some time. During his last Doctor's visit, they wanted him tested for Diabetes and changed the drug combination that he was taking. He is unable to give me CD4 count or Viral Load due to the fact that he is incarcerated and they seem to take long periods of time in receiving and giving of this information. Are these all signs of his condition worsening? Please, I need info since I am raising his two young sons and need to know how to prepare their mental state.
Response from Dr. Little
Without drug resistance test results and viral load and CD4 data, it is very difficult to answer these questions. Clearly the weight loss is not a good sign, but it is difficult to determine whether this is a result of diet, drug toxicity, or disease progression. I cannot conclude that his condition is worsening based upon the information you have provided, only that his adherence to the medications has been challenging. The high cholesterol and high blood pressure may be quite easily treated and should not be looked upon as a significant sign of HIV disease progression. I think though that you really need to have this discussion with his HIV care provider who has all the necessary information to answer this question. Good luck.
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