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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
          
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Dementia
Apr 20, 2002

Dear Docs, i have read alot about brain complications in HIV-positive patients and again about brain complication as a side-effect from HAART (HIV-associated dementia). i am 25 HIV+ women diagnosed in 1999 and been on meds since 1999 (Combivir+Fortovase). my question is what is the risk for me to develop dementia and is there any special blood test that has to be taken regulary for that reason. could you please explain the meaning of M/MF (Monocyte/macrophage - CD14/CD69) and give their normal ranges. another concern is lactic acidosis. my cd4 cells are 500 and my viral load undetectable. i am writing you from a country where doctors don't know much about HIV. so any comment will be of help.

thank you in advance, Valeria

Response from Dr. Henry

The risk for dementia is very low when the CD4 count is high (> 250) and the viral load is low. Treatment if HIV protects against dementia. Dementia may also be less frequent in persons infected with some non-clade B viruses (such as type C). Bottome line--while on treatment and doing well chances for dementia are very very low. Chances for lactic acidosis on your regimen are also very low (< 1% over a number of years). Anti-HIV treatment does not cause dementia it prevents it. Glad you are doing well. KH



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