Hiv with Throat Cancer (LATE DIAGNOSIS OF HIV AND RESULTING OPPORTUNISTIC COMPLICATIONS, 2010)

Question

Hi, My father was diagnosed with Throat Cancer in lymph nodes year ago and treatment had gone well and it was well in control. But the infection's started to occur in his mouth and this had doctor's check for him for HIV. And the dreaded news came that he is HIV infected with possible HBV, and Bone Marrow test to confirm Tuberculosis and CD4 count at 33. Doctor is going to start with Viraday as first course and see how well he responds to that. But my question is because of this throat cancer and mouth infection he is still unable to eat enough and gone into wasting syndrome and lost lots of weight. Is there any thing which we can do to prolong his life tenure. If you have any experience with his sort of case please let me know so that i can convey to my doctor and take further action.

Answer

Hello,

Sorry to hear the unfortunate news of your father's multiple diagnoses. It's indeed a tragedy when HIV/AIDS goes unrecognized and consequently untreated for such a long time that the immune system becomes so decimated (deficient) that opportunistic malignancies and infections begin to occur!

Regarding your dad, certainly aggressive management of his various conditions is warranted. If he is unable to eat and is wasting, intravenous nutrition may be warranted to build him up, stop the wasting and allow him time to heal up from his various opportunistic complications. Antiretroviral therapy and prophylaxis against common opportunistic infections, while treating the infections and malignancies identified so far, should be step one. Close follow up with very aggressive intervention is warranted.

Good luck. Please give your dad a hug from me.

Dr. Bob