LIVER AND KIDNEY FAILURE ON A HIV YOUNG MAN

Patient

Q: I took my son to the emergency room he was so sick and hiv positive. his spleen and pancreas was infected so they decided to take out his gall bladder. the very next day his kidneys and liver started shutting down. he passed away 6 weeks later at the age of 26 this past August. He was a 6 yr college student so happy. he knew he had hiv but didnt think he was sick. I dont understand how a simple surgery could have him pass away his c4 count was 231 and his viral loads were in the millions from what I understand but would that make his liver and kidneys shut down after a operation for the gallbladder? I just never was answered on why this happened and i stay upset over losing such a wonderful young happy educated man who had touched so many people with his love of the arts.

Doctor

A:   Though we may not know the exact cause of your son`s liver and kidney shutting down, I understand that the unanswered question troubles you and I sympathize with you for your loss. It is difficult to say what may be the cause of the liver failure. Mild to moderate elevations in liver enzymes are related to an increased risk of death in people with HIV. Liver failure is the most common cause of death in people with AIDS. The condition can result from highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) or an increased viral load, all of which are toxic to liver cells. I hope you are able to find the answer you are looking for, take care.

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