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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
          
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Risk of O.I. question.
Jun 2, 2003

Hi,

The O.I. forum isn't currently taking questions, but I'm sure you can answer this question, if you don't mind.

Assuming that I can maintain a normal CD4 count (roughly 500-1,500/ml, right?), as well as an undetectable VL by way of strict adherance, exercise, nutrition, rest, I should have the same risk as an HIV negative person in terms of developng O.I.s such as pneumonia, K.S., etc., right?

Side-effects would probably be my main concern, correct? Or am I still susceptible to certain (minor?) things?

Thank you for any information you have.

Response from Dr. Boyle

You are correct: Studies have shown that if you maintain a normal CD4 count you are roughly at the same risk as an HIV-negative person for contracting most HIV-related conditions. Still, since CD4 counts do not fully cover the entire immune deficit that can occur with HIV, some events (e.g. community acquired pneumonia, TB) may occur with a somewhat higher rate in HIV-infected patients, even if they have relatively normal CD4 counts. You are also correct that if you have a normal CD4 count your (and your doctor's) focus should be on watching for and, if possible, avoiding potential medication-related side effects and toxicities.



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