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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Jun 20, 2012


My dad had HIV for about 10 years, he was taking medicine and everything seemed to be perfect.However , in the past 1 year we didn't notice he had stopped taking his medicine, and he is now in the Emergency Care at the hospital he has been there for about 20 days. After immediate diagnoses and MRI they said he has PML below 250( Maybe in thousands you know better ) CD4 something like that. My dad can't speak , Can't move all his right side , he has a very severe damage in the brain , and before 6 days he stopped breathing , and now he breaths using a pipe to the lungs that is connected to the breathing machine. The doctors said after giving him Truvada and more medicine through the blood his immune system is at good conditions but the PML virus is the problem...

My Question is , will he be able to speak to us again , will he live , and is the danger of losing his life has passed , how can we know if he is improving ?

Please i beg you to answer this Question asap , as my mother is almost giving up , and every day she stays there all day sometimes 3-4 days .

Thank you for your time and help.

Response from Dr. Henry

PML (progressive multifocal encephalopathy) is s feared AIDS complication dut to JC virus infection of the brain. In some cases the condition can stabilize if effective HIV treatment is started. The brain damage is like a stroke so prognosis depends on location and extent of damage. If severe there may be limited recovery whereas in some cases damage stabilized and some rehabilitation is possible (I have cared for some PML patients for > 15 years). Analogy would be like a stroke (PML for the analogy)caused by very high blood pressure (HIV damage to the immune system). Controlling the blood pressure (HIV) can prevent further damage but recovery depends on extent of damaged brain. HIV specialist and neurologist can often determine the likely prognosis after a complete assessment. Direct treatment for PML has been problematic other than improving the immune system with HIV treatment. KH

Whoops! Atripla with food
Father HIV positive to possibly undergo angioplasty

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