Question

I recently discovered I have strep throat and have been placed on antibiotics. I was diagnosed with HIV July 2002. I'm not on any treatments since I have been tested every 6 months and my numbers come back almost undetectable. I will be getting my newest test results this coming Thursday. My question is since having strep throat; I have developed a dry cough that is driving me crazy. Is this normal due to the strep or should I be concerned that it is related to my HIV. Also I read some where that strep is an indication of a break down in the immune system. How is strep contacted?

Answer

Strep throat (pharyngitis) is common in the general population. Generally I have not observed that HIV+ patients have any distinct problems when they develop strep throat. If the CD4 count is already low (i.e. < 250) I would have some concern about secondary development of other infections/complications and evaluate and treat accordingly. Several months after the strep throat my HIV patients generally have no further sequalae--it ha not been my impression that the strep throat signals a break down in the immune system (it is not considered an opportunistic infection). KH