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Info on AIDS Dementia and End Stage AIDS
Sep 26, 2007

My husband was diagnosed with AIDS dementia on 8/7. He is considered to be in end stage AIDS. Doctors will not come back to discuss what this means. What is end stage and what can I expect? Please help.

Response from Dr. Conway

AIDS dementia is usually a diagnosis of exclusion. There are many HIV-associated conditions that can lead to dementia and it is important to do a number of tests (such as a lumbar puncture and a CT scan or MRI) to find out if one such condition is present in the setting of dementia-related symptoms with HIV infection. This is due to the fact that many such conditions (including, say, toxoplasmosis) can be treated quite effectively. If nothing is found, then a diagnosis of AIDS dementia is made. In that case, it may be that going on treatment for the HIV infection may help things quite significantly, so there is always hope until this had been tried. So I would not lose hope until all of the tests have been done, and your husband is on HIV treatment for a number of months.

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