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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
           
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Anemia in women
Mar 3, 2002

Hello, I was wondering if you could please tell me what percentage of women have anemia after 5-6 years of infection. Is it that common? Thank you so much for the help.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Well, I can't give you an exact percentage of HIV-positive women who would be anemic 5-6 years after contracting HIV, because there are many variables that would need to be considered, such as how sick she was, what medications she was taking, etc. Anemia is quite common in the setting of HIV disease. It's prevalence increases as the disease progresses. In one very large study, women with asymptomatic HIV disease had a prevalence of anemia of 31%. This increased to 77% in women with full-blown AIDS. The use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to treat HIV has improved the overall health of those of us living with the virus. However, anemia remains a very real problem, particularly in advanced disease. Anemia is diagnosed by measuring blood hemoglobin levels. The normal range for women is 12-16 g/dL (14-18 g/dL for men). One encouraging piece of news is that Procrit, a medication that stimulates the production of new red blood cells, is highly effective in treating HIV-related anemia.

Hope that helps!

Dr. Bob


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