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signs of a competent immune system?
Feb 6, 2001

Dear sir or madame, are hiv patients immune competent? say a person had a risk of exposure over a year ago. say a person suffers a cold sore--once every 6-12 months. the HSV-1 heals after about 7-10 days. would such circumstances suggest a competent immune system, or could a person still be HIV positive? at what point does the immune system become incompetent? does hiv positive = immune system incompetence? sincerely, hope

Response from Dr. Young

The function of the immune system in HIV infected persons declines slowly over time. Most start with a competent system, and could justly be called immunocompetent. You're right in asking about the duration of herpetic lesions as a surrogate marker of immune function. Cold sores that last 7-10 days, once or twice a year is of normal duration and frequency, not a clear marker of immune dysfunction. BY



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