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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Dizziness and CD4
Jan 10, 2012

I have 2 questions. The first concerns my CD4 count. I was diagnosed in early July 2010 with a CD4 count of 84 (15%) and started treatment in August 2010. Fourteen months later, Oct 2011, my CD4 is now 517 (36%). I feel this is a good result but, as I am not 'out' about my status I have no means of comparing with others. Is this a typical result, or better or worse than average? I am a 47 year old man.

My second question concerns the side affects. My medication is Atripla. Around 2 hours after taking it, I usually feel slightly dizzy and tired - fit for nothing but bed really! Not usually a problem as I take it at 10 pm which is usually bed time. But is it likely that I will experience this side affect for ever now, given that it has never gone away?

Response from Dr. Henry

Your CD4 recovery has been very good-I would say better than average which is great. The dizziness and fatigue may well be due to the efavirenz in Atripla--if that is the case then you may be one of the unlucky 5-10% of patients who have persistent annoying CNS side effects from the efavirenz. In the absence of another likely explanation a trial of an alternative regimen may be worth considering. You may want to discuss a possible switch off the efavirenz (to rilpirivine or nevirapine as NNRTIs, a boosted PI, or raltegravir are among the possibilities) with your HIV doctor. KH

stopping medications
Swollen lymph node?

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