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Pathogenic Vectors
Jul 2, 2010

Hi, (This probably belongs in "Strange But True"...LOL) I live in Colorado, and while taking my two dogs on a walk today I was bitten by a few mosquitoes. The first thing that ran through my mind was West Nile. Then I thought about my risk of Lyme disease from a tick bite.

My VL is undetectible, and my other labs (e.g. CD4%, CD4:CD8, etc) are WNL.

I understand that I am at some risk, but to what degree is my risk of contracting an illness such as West Nile or Lyme (or other illness caused by other vectors)? It is difficult not to panic every time I get a mosquito bite. I also understand an effective prophylactic against mosquitos is bug spray with DEET - has there been any studies for interactions or side effects of DEET with HAART?

Am I panicking? Maybe I should talk to my psychologist about my fear of mosquitos/WNV? (ha ha, just kidding)

Thanks,

Poz Colorado Dude

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

There are endemic areas and seasonal variation for diseases carried by insect vectors. Check with your local health department regarding health alerts for these diseases. Your risk of contracting one of these ailments is no different from someone who is HIV negative. I am not aware of any drug interactions between DEET and HAART. I've also not heard of any problems in using these therapies simultaneously. Just remember to "use as directed."

Are you panicking? Yep! I'd say your degree of worry is out of proportion to any real risk. You can discuss your concerns further with your HIV specialist.

Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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