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hiv and non hogdkin's lymphoma
Sep 18, 2005

My husband was diagnosed in dec '04 with non hodgkin's lymphoma.after his 7th chemo his wbc dropped considerably.he developed cytomegalovirus and pneumocystis.an hiv test was done and came back positive.he and i have ben together 18yrs.we have been faithful and we do not use any drugs.we also have 2 kids. i have been tested 3 times because i am in the dental field.all negative.could his hiv test be totally wrong?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello, I'm sorry to hear that your husband is experiencing such challenging medical problems. Could he have a false-positive HIV-antibody test? Yes, that's always possible. Certainly his initial positive HIV test should be repeated with a confirmatory test such as a Western Blot. If that remains positive, he should have an HIV viral load (PCR) test performed as well as a CD4 cell count. He should also establish care with an HIV specialist. There is no doubt Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Pneumocystis (PCP) could be opportunistic illnesses related to immune deterioration/deficiency caused by HIV; however, not all Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas are HIV related. And chemotherapy in and of itself can cause immunosuppression/deficiency, which could place your husband at increased risk for opportunistic infections, such as CMV and PCP. Chances are these questions will be sorted out very quickly with follow-up laboratory studies. Good luck to you both. Dr. Bob



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