Question

My son was just diganois with hiv.His doctor doesn't use the word aids.Everything I have read suggest he has aids?He hasn't started medications yet,we are waiting for help(no money to cover).Could you please answer my question , if just though a e-mail? 1.cd4 31, aids or hiv? 2.We need quick help(meds) where? 3. At this count what kind of help with meds? Thank you a loving mother

Answer

Thanks for your question.

These must be difficult times for you as a mother..

To answer your questions, yes, your son has AIDS-- anyone with a CD4 count below 200 has met the criteria for AIDS. Of course, he also has HIV infection.

(2) It's difficult to tell you exactly where to get medications, because this depends on where you live. Assuming that you live in the US, I'd contact your local AIDS service organization (often in the yellow pages) or the American Academy of HIV Medicine for recommendations for doctors or clinics in your area that have expertise in HIV medicine. Stay in touch, and let me know how this turns out, or if you have difficulties.

(3) We always recommend three- or four-drug regimens for persons starting HIV medications, irrespective of CD4 cell count. With his CD4 cell count, your son should also be on antibiotics to prevent certain AIDS complications (namely azithromycin and trimethoprim/sulfa).

Overall, recent improvements in medications make it entirely possible for persons who start medications with very low CD4 counts to have excellent improvements in immune function, and an excellent prognosis. The essential things are to find experienced help, the selection of a potent, well tolerated drug regimen and above all else, once medications are started, to find the ways to assist your son in missing as few doses as possible.

Good luck, mom. Thanks for reading and keep us posted. BY