Q and A

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Can I move when I take Atripla by 1 hour to avoid dizziness?

Have started on treatment last week (Atripla) for the first time and am taking the tablet at 9pm every day. If I want to move this to 10pm, as I’m finding dizziness starts before I go to bed, should I do this on one day or say over 3 days, i.e. 9.20 then 9.40 and then 10pm? Similar question would apply when we put the clocks back in the UK by an hour later this month.

Does the virus really have an ageing effect?

I have a question on the ageing effect of the virus. Does the virus really have an ageing effect? How can this be prevented or reduced?

Now-a-days I appear to be old facially and even my hair has become white. I am almost 34 but I look like someone over 45. I was diagnosed five years ago and still have no health problem. I am not on medication.

Thank you for your valuable deeds!

My viral load is detectable again. How concerned should I be?

I started combination therapy in December 2009 with a viral load of 580,800 and CD4 count of 148. It took longer than the Dr. seem to have predicted to get my viral load down to an undetectable level, until 47 in June 2010. By that time I was told my my CD4 count had increased only slightly to 197.

In August 2010 I had a CD4 count but no viral load count, CD4 was suddenly 421 but I have just been informed my results for September 2010 are CD4 416 (36.9%) but unfortunately viral load was 60. During the time that my viral load remained detectable beyond expectation I was told that the good news was that be it slowly, there was only a trend downwards.

This is the first time my CD4 from one test to the next has gone down and my viral load up again. Should I be concerned or is this something that is likely to happen? I am aware that there are issues that can affect viral load measurement and CD4 count.

Thanks once again for your time and excellent service.

My body itches all over – is it because of Atripla?

I have been on Atripla for 3 years now. Everything has been good with high CD4 counts and undetectable but over last year I have become increasingly itchy over most of my body, my legs especially, my doctor doesn’t seem too bothered and gave me antihistamines but they have not worked and the itch is really too much to bear at times. Have you any advice? I am seriously considering stopping my medications it gets so bad!

If I have a low lymphocyte count do I have HIV?

Dear Ms Walker,

Apologies for persevering on this matter. I had a virus this September 2010 and was asked to do a CBC test. I also had 2 HIV ELFA tests – one in Feb 2009 (96 days after exposure, the exposure in Nov 2009) and one more test in Feb 2010. Both came back non-reactive. I have had no other exposures or risks after Nov 2009.

My CBC reports absolute WBC at 7400 and my lymphocyte count was at 19% (Normal range was 20%-44%). A low lymphocyte count is associated with HIV. Is there a cause for concern in my case? Are my tests conclusive and my status HIV negative?

Is a cure for HIV coming? Can yogurt affect CD4 counts?

Is there now real hope that there will be a cure for HIV? There seems to be some really good research going on I have just read a article where Dr Sékaly who is a well respected Dr in the field of HIV says there will be a cure in 10 years.

Also, I have read about 2 cancer drugs and there is another cancer drug called zolinza and of course the Israeli scientists that have cured HIV in small cultures and then I have read that HIV has been cured in a mouse model so may be soon HIV will be a thing of the past.

I have another question about my CD4 count, I had some bloods done about a month and a half ago my CD4 count was 321. Just after that I started to take a muller pre-biotic and combined pro-biotic yogurt. Then just over a week later I came down with Iritis. I thought my HIV treatment was failing as there was a little spike in my viral load from below 20 to 38. When I went back to the hospital to see the cholesterol specialist doctor I insisted on having my bloods taken again that was 2 weeks ago.

My CD4 count had risen from 321 to 454 in a month where for nearly a year it has always been around 300 or so I think that the reason I had the iritis was that it was IRIS and that the sudden leap in my CD4 count was due to the muller drinks. I have had iritis in the past when my CD4 count was very low at 93. Could this huge leap of more than 25% increase a month be due to the muller drinks? It seems to be the case.

I know that a persons CD4 count can fluctuate but surely not by that much? Also when I first found out in may last year that my CD4 count was 93 I was taking those muller drinks and within 2 months I had a CD4 count of 233 but for some reason I stopped taking the drinks. I guess that they were no longer on offer at Sainsburys.

Do ARVs act on other viruses such as herpes?

I lost muscle strength in my whole body and that prompted me to do a HIV test. The result was positive with CD4 count of 79. I was immediately put on ARVs on 27th August 2010.

Since then I have had herpes on my genitalia and it keeps recurring on my scrotum daily. Does this mean ARVs do not act on other viruses apart from HIV? Will the muscle loss be restored by ARVs alone and how long will it take? I dont want to stress about this one.

Do I have to produce HIV testing certificates to work abroad?

I’m slightly confused. I am planning to have a HIV test as a baseline in 1 weeks time. My exposure was not really from a person but from blood to blood contact. I am having a test done as a precaution which happens to be exactly 3 weeks after my exposure. I have been told to have the test done again after 4 weeks and then again after 6 weeks but I’m not sure why?

Looking on your website it says 3-4 weeks after is good and 28 days plus conclusive? why would my GUM clinic say this?

Also I am planning to work abroad and they need me to test – I know the first one is no good as it still in my window period but they want me to give them 2 certificates of the ones I am going to do after? Have they got the right to do that and why would they not class the last one done after 28 days as ok?

Thanks

Does stress and lack of sleep effect your CD4 count?

Does stress and lack of sleep effect your CD4 count? I am HIV positive and am medicated. I work in a, recently, stressful job and have been going through a lot of stress in my personal life. My viral load is undetectable and yet my CD4 count doesn’t appear to be moving in any direction (which can be considered to be good) yet I would have thought it may have increased?

How risky is it to unblock my fallopian tubes and can I have a child if I have HIV?

Hi

I’m HIV positive and my problem is that my fallopian tubes are blocked. How risky is it to unblock them so I can become pregnant? Is it normal for me to be pregnant knowing my HIV status and how is it going to affect me? The doctor said I must do a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test for tubal infertility. How accurate is the test and will I be able to have a HIV negative child? Is the tubal infertility test very important?

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