Q and A

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Have I re-infected my partner?

Me and my partner got diagnosed for HIV type 1 last week. I know he very, very likely caught it from me unfortunately. So does this mean we have the same strain and resistance? I only ask because my boyfriend’s CD4 levels were much lower than mine but then he is older so that might have had something to do with it.

I’m panicking that I might have re-infected him! I feel so guilty as he doesn’t deserve this and I think knowing I’d re-infected him would make it so much worse. Thanks in advance :)

Should I have a PCR or a Duo test?

Hi there.

I will not go into great detail about what has happened as I’m not sure exactly what did. I’m so scared that I might have picked up something that I am going out of my mind.

A doctor has told me to have a PCR – RNA kind of test. It’s quiet expensive and then I was told I had to go back and have a HIV duo test which is another hundred quid.

I want to know if I had this test is it conclusive, the PCR or can I have 2 p24 tests.

My so-called exposure was 1 week ago. So could I have a HIV DUO next week and have a near accurate result and then just chase it up in 2 weeks?

Is peripheral neuropathy a side effect of Atripla?

Hi there,

I have been on Atripla for just a year now, I am in remission at the moment from cancer, I had Briketts lymphoma. The treatment worked really well but I have developed peripheral neuropathy – when the nerves in my feet and hands have been affected.

It could be the chemotherapy that has caused this but I had it very mildly before I had chemotherapy. It’s getting worse everyday, I am on Lyrica 150mgs twice a day but it is getting worse.

Sorry to go on but is peripheral neuropathy a side effect of Atripla? My HIV doctor is very reluctant to change my HIV medication but I am really afraid that it will just get worse and worse

I look forward to hearing from you

Will

I am having trouble taking ARVs, when should I start a new combination?

What is the advised time to be off treatment before starting new meds, after 2 lots of meds not working for me?

I was diagnosed as HIV positive in 2004 with CD4 770 and VL: 4,000 and In mid may this year 2010 started treatment with a CD4 of 350 and viral load 154,0000.

I was first put on Truvada and Sustiva and had a bad rash reaction, then I was put on Truvada, atazanavir and ritonavir and had a bad reaction to these, not being able to keep food down. Over a period of a week and a half I was sick 15 times, so my doctor stopped me on these meds on 8th June.

After stopping the meds I had a bad week of constipation and lead to me needing a nurse to come around and give me an enema.

I am only just starting to get back to normal and need to build up my body strength before starting the new meds. My doctor is going to put me on Truvada, atazanavir – but higher dose than before, and raltegravir.

Can you please tell me what timescale would be best to start meds again?

Thank you

I take efavirenz and just found out I am pregnant…

I currently taking Atripla and I have just found out that I am pregnant. When i started taking my meds i was told by my doctor that if i was planing to get pregnant i should stop taking Atripla. As this pregnancey was not plan i have an implant fitted & use condoms but nothing seem to be 100% hence me finding out im pregnant.

At the moment im not sure what im going to do about the situation, as its friday night & i wont be able to speak to my docter until monday so i dont know if i should keep on taking my meds or not… I’m confused.

Please help.

Is my change in complete blood count an indication of HIV?

Hello Doctor!

I’m a female. I had unprotected sex at the beginning of January with a man. After 2 weeks I developed the worst flu a human being can imagine. I had nausea, headache, stiff neck, fatigue. This lasted for 2 months. I tested positive for Chlamydia and got doxycycline treatment.

I was tested at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 months with 4th generation tests (antigen p24) here in Italy all were negative.

Is it possible, that I got some strange viral strain, which the ELISA would not pick up? What is very scary to me is my Complete Blood Count (CBC). My lymphocytes fall from 30 % to 15%!!! Is this showing I have it?

Thank you so much for the answer, I appreciate it!

I am too scared to start medication!

I found out 4 years ago that I had HIV, which was an immense shock. My counts have always been relatively good fluctuating between CD4 350 and 500, until beginning of May when it suddenly dropped to 250.

Another test was done and today I was told this had dropped again to 150 and that the viral load had increased to 120,000 I was advised to start medication immediately.

However, the overriding fact was based on the drop of my platelet count which started at 135 when I was first tested and since January 2010 has dropped each time it was tested. These are now at a count of 86. I have also been given antibiotics as a precautionary measure.

This is the first time that I understood the platelets helped determine the start of medication. I am sitting here now with the medication reluctant to start taking it in case this could be a blip and something that may change in my next test.

I have always had a reluctance to take any type of tablets including paracetamol, being someone who has to be in severe uncontrollable pain to take so much as a paracetamol, The mere thought of taking medication at set times every day makes me go cold. I am scared I might forget and make things worse; I am very reluctant to take any medication until absolutely necessary.

Can you please shed any light on the platelet situation? I am tempted to wait another 2 weeks to see if the counts change, or will this be too late? Many thanks

Will prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) drugs harm my baby?

A week ago I was diagnosed with HIV-1 during a routine pregnancy testing. I have been told that I will need to go on treatment to stop infection on the baby. I have been told I will be on zidovudine (AZT), lamivudine (3TC) and Kaletra (liponavir and ritonavir). I’m concerned that it is too much and will affect the baby if I develop resistance.

The doctor said that she was happy with my CD4 count of 368 and I would not have had to take medication yet. Does that mean I stop meds after pregnancy or do I continue on these for life?

I have peripheral neuropathy, why is my CD4 count fluctuating?

Hi guys! Thanks in advance for your great service!

Can you please tell me if a drop of CD4 from 1100 to 830 while being on treatment for two yrs and undetectable is a bad sign? I know it’s still a great count. My CD4% is 41.

I’ve developed peripheral neuropathy which has just been diagnosed but have been told there is little they can do for this. I’ve been put on Gabapentine for this.

My combination therapy is darunavir/ritonavir and Truvada. I’ve also now been put on Citalopram as things have been very difficult recently.

The HIV pharmacist says no interactions except the ritonavir can boost some levels of these other drugs. Am I worrying needlessly?

With a CD4 count of 77 do I have AIDS?

Hi,

Having been reading around about HIV. After getting diagnosed I got my results and my CD4 count is 77, does this mean I’m classed as having AIDS? Do you need to have an OI as well?

I have started treatment and touch wood it is going well but its only 7 days in.

If you can offer any advice this would be great and thanks for this great and useful website.

Does everybody get resistance?

My CD4 count is just above 350 and I’m thinking about starting treatment.

My question is, if I start treatment, and make sure I adhere every day – what are the chances of resistance developing?

I’m worried that I will start treatment but after five or ten years, no matter how religiously I stick to it, I will still have to change treatment to something that may be harder to take, or have stronger or nastier side effects.

Is this the case? Or is it possible I can stick to the same treatment indefinitely?

I am positive, my partner is negative can we conceive naturally?

I’m a female who is HIV positive. I started taking medication in January and now my viral load is undetectable and my CD4 is 340. My husband is HIV negative. My question is can we have a baby and is it possible to conceive naturally or are there any other suggestions you may offer us? Also what are the risks of me transmitting HIV to him if we have unprotected sex to conceive naturally?

How long will it take for my CD4 count to go back up?

I have recently found out I am HIV positive. I am dealing with it OK. It helps that I have such a supportive family. I went to see my HIV Consultant for the first time about 3 weeks ago she gave me my CD4 count and viral load results.

My CD4 is 77 and viral load is 112,450. She has also said I’ve had it 5-10 years which has worried me. I’ve contacted a few people to tell them to get tested there test have come back clear.

My questions are:

If I have a high viral load isn’t there more chance of me passing it on? (I was the top in all off them)

I was with someone 7 years and their result is negative or so they say!! In all this time is there more chance I would of passed it on to them?

How long will it take for my CD4 count to go back up? I’m not on any drugs at the moment as I’ve been given some tablets to stop me getting infections. (Was given Cotrimoxazole but had to change to Dapsone as I had a reaction)

Is it likely my CD4 would of gone down since the last test? Am I likely to get any OIs (opportunistic infections)?

Sorry for all the questions, but these are what are playing on my mind at the moment.

Thank you in advance

I am HIV positive, can I work in Angola?

Hello,

I’m a 29 year-old Lebanese male. I have been HIV positive for almost two years but am not yet on HIV Anti-retroviral therapy.

I have an opportunity to work in Angola but I am very worried they may require a HIV test for work permit and that they will deport me if they know about my health status.

In the case that there are no restrictions for living in Angola if HIV positive, can I access HIV medications when I need them?

I really appreciate your service. Thank you very much.

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