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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Routine Infections Vis A Vis CD4s
Jun 27, 2006

20+ years, VL <50, no meds, on interferon/ribavirin for HCV, CD4s between 211 & 276 over the last year, lower than they've ever been. I hear the hep regimen depresses your CD4s even further, which might be borne out by my most-recent 201. The question is, do CD4s <325 make routine infections harder to kick? I had a 5 week cough that is finally resolving. 1st "regular" Dr. said "it wasn't that bad yet" and just prescribed cough med; 2nd regular Dr. a week later finally gave me cefdinir. It improved but I went back once more 9 days later, since I didn't want it to recur. Azithromycin that time; finally, about a week and a half after I finished that, the cough has lifted. I've now seen HIV Dr., but the earliest I could get in was 3 days after it got significantly better. I almost expected him to treat me for PCP or such, even though it was better; but he just gave me some omeprazole and ipratropium bromide. (Chest x-ray was fine). The other HIV Dr. had kind of poopooed the notion of my CD4s having anything to do with it; but I've never had one go that bad before. Do you feel low CD4s may have been a contributing factor, or would it have gotten better quicker if Dr. #1 had simply given me antibiotics at the outset?

Response from Dr. Henry

Lower CD4 counts in some patients appear to be associated with more frequent bacterial/fungal infections at a variety of sites as well as with somewhat more difficult to clear infections. For example, in the pre-HAART era some patients required immunoglobulin injections to help clear infections. KH

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