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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Jan 11, 2001

My doctor recently suggested trying interleukin-2 to help raise my cd4 count. I have had less than 20 t cells for more than 3 years and a viral load greater than 750,000. I have heard that the side effects of using IL-2 can be quite extreme. What can I expect and should I even consider starting on this protocol?

Thank you for your time.


Response from Dr. Young

IL-2 can produce a variety of symptoms; mostly they are the symptoms that one associates with having the flu -- fevers, chills, body aches. Depending on the dose, they can be severe in some people, even requiring narcotics for management. While IL-2 has been shown to increase the CD4 counts for those with relatively intact immune systems, there is less data for people in your stratum of CD4 cells. -BY

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D.

Major side effect of steroids

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