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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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May 20, 2004

I was just diagnosed with havin dimentia.Although I have an undetectable viral load and a tcell count of over 700. I believe that the virus attacked my brain and cns early on before treatment began and did the damage at that time. 1= Is the dementia active and degenerative? 2=Is there medication for this? 3=I had an mri without dye,and have not had a spinal tap is this neccessary? 4=How long do I have before I am totaly disabled? Presently I have very low memory retainance and motor skills.

I am also Bipolar and ocd and add.... What are your thoughts on my condition. I am seeing 2 doctors a Psychiatrist and a therapist with my partner to cope with this......... what are my next steps? PLEASE HELPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP

Response from Dr. Henry

There are numerous conditions that can contribute to dementia besides HIV infection. There have been an increasing number of reports about dementia among HIV patients who are doing well on HIV treatment and/or have a higher/good CD4 count. Generally dementia is seen more often in persons with a lower CD4 count (< 200). If your HIV specialist/neurologist think that HIV is contributing then a trial of effective HIV treatment (trying to include drugs with good CNS penetration) may be worthwhile on a trial basis for 6 months or more to see if there is some improvement. KH

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