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blindness and brain lesions
Apr 1, 2001

My relative has gone blind.He is HIV positive. We lost five months checking his eyes which are perfectly ok as checked by the top Opthalmologist. He has lost a lot of weight in the last year and is now about 125 pounds. On 23.March.2001 they checked his blood for and found he was HIV positive. The MRI shows some sort of growth on the nerve shaft going to his eyes as well as on the front lobe and the base of his neck. Is ther any new medication or alternative medication available.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

The very first thing you need to do is to find an HIV specialist. Your relative has advanced HIV disease (AIDS) and needs teatment ASAP. Combination (3 or more drugs) therapy for HIV may well slow down or even halt the brain process (more below), and he will certainly regain his weight, have energy and feel a lot better in general as his immune system improves.

I can't tell from your question what the brain disease is, and your relative's ultimate prohnosis depends on what disease this is. It is not due to HIV itself, but to some opportunistic disease that he was vulnerable to because the HIV has damaged his immune system so severely. You urgently need to find an HIV specialist so that the nature of this brain problelm can be ascertained and specific treatment for it (if available) also be started in addition to the HIV meds. Most blindness in AIDS patients is due to an infection of the retina (at the back of the eye) by another virus called "CMV". CMV can also cause brain infection, but its appearance on scan is different from what you're describing.

Please find an HIV specialist right away. You can get some assistance in this from your city or county health department ot the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) of your relative's local doctor doesn't know one. Good luck!


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