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Chances of getting Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma?
Dec 27, 2007

Dear Dr. Daar, I've written to you a month or so ago about our 28-yr old son who learned last month he is HIV+. He had very recently contracted it and his labwork reported his CD4 at 190 and VL >750,000. Just three weeks later, his labwork resulted in a CD4 of 851 and VL of 710! He was thrilled. He now has some sniffles and slightly swollen glands and is worried sick about Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, reading he is at increased risk due to having had Epstein Barr, being a white male and of course HIV+. Can you shed any light on this? We're trying so hard to help him to appreciate all the good recent news he's received, but are his concerns valid? He's so very stressed and anxious...anything you can tell us would be so very much appreciated, Dr. Daar.

Response from Dr. Daar

While people with HIV are at increased risk of developing lymphoma there are many other explanations for what he is experiencing. While I would reassure him that lymphoma is unlikely, the bottom line is that he does need to be evaluated for the new symptoms to make sure it is nothing serious or that needs any kind of specific therapy.

In general, people recently found to have HIV do experience anxiety regarding all of the things that can happen. The good news is that with a strong response to therapy the majority of individuals are likely to live long healthy lives. Unfortunately, it takes time to get over the understandable concerns and come to appreciate that most of the problems that develop during the course of time turn out to be minor. Occasionally, if anxiety persists seeking out professional assistance to deal with anxiety can be of further help.

Best, Eric


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