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AZATHIOPRINE
Apr 4, 2006

due to Athritus in my hand my Dr has oout me on AZATHIOPRINE 200mg daily, my prsent cd4 is 340 and my viral load is 86,000 surely wont this drug reduce my Cd4 and blood levels.

Response from Dr. Henry

Use of azathioprine or other immune suppressive drugs can decrease CD4 counts. The effect on HIV RNA levels is somewhat unpredictable. I have had a number of patients take drugs like azathioprine for other conditions and monitored them carefully. Sometimes I might recommend use of HIV therapy to stabilize/boost the immune system in patients with other conditions necessitating use of immune suppressive drugs even in HIV+ patients with CD4 counts high enough that I wouldn't have otherwise started HIV therapy. Discussion with the rheumatologist or oncologist/hematologist is often key to understanding what is the best course for a given patient. KH



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