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meds or hiv itself? please answer

Jan 7, 2008

i am a 27 yr old positive female, know of being positive for 4/5 years. have been on meds for 2 yrs sustiva & truvada. when i started meds my cd4 was 240 & vl was well very high cant remember! within a couple of months my vl went to undectectable & my cd4 had risen to 500, then went on to go up to 700 & the last lots of 3 months results were 400. doctor says all is good tho no need 2 worry as the precentage is 40 whatever that means i have no idea! my worry is the last 6 months i guess maybe a little less i have noticed i am losing weight all over my legs, bum. def can feel my trousers are a little looser, i havnt actually lost any weight overall tho still weigh 9 stone i am 5 ft 4" by the way. i may have lost a bit in my face not much tho but i think i can notice it. this really bothers me as before meds i lost quiet a bit of weight & was looking quite rough & after meds managed to gain all my weight again which was fab, now i am becoming very depressed about the thought of maybe losing weight again. does anyone know if the meds i am on could be doing this or is it hiv itself? thanks so much

Response from Dr. Henry

the degree of fat loss on Sustiva/Truvada generally has been very minimal and compares favorably to most other regimens. Time with HIV, a lower CD4 nadir, older age and other non-treatment factors have been linked to increased risk for fat distribution problems. Most patient on Sustiva/Truvada even at 3-5 years+ have not experienced much in the way of fat loss. There likely is individual variation in sensitivity to fat loss effects of certain drugs though I cannot recommend an alternative regimen with any confidence that would clearly be better as far as the fat situation goes. KH

bloated fat belly
Stevens Johnsons Syndrome

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