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Follow-up on testosterone levels
May 12, 2002

Dr. Frascino,

I appreciate the advice that you gave me.. it was confirmation/ validation of concerns I was already pondering. Two years ago when I noticed these drastic changes, I had the same lab check these levels, and my values DO reflect what appears to be a Testo level 'heading south': Free Testo: fr 11.97 in 5/00 to 7.1 in 3/02 and TTl: fr 530 to 493 to 290....YIKES! TSH: fr 1.35 in 4/00 to .807 in 3/02. The or problem that I am meeting is due to the fact these levels ARE within the 'normal' range, my MD refuses to treat (or even consider it). Have you any other recommendations, research I could read or (of course, informal) referrals of MDs who could help me more aggressively address these issues? I appreciate the help you've already given me. Thanks LS

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello L.S.,

Your testosterone levels are indeed trending lower with each assessment. Hypogonadism is quite common in HIV-positive men like us. Your physician sounds a bit dogmatic in his approach to this problem. First of all, the "normal" range tends to vary with age. The normal range of testosterone for the Back Street Boys is quite different than the normal range for Bob Dole. Ask your lab for "age-matched" controls. You may indeed already be out of the "normal" range for other young bucks of your same age.

As for reading materials, a simple search on The Internet should turn up an impressive array of articles. Even Time Magazine did a cover story on Testosterone (April 24, 2000). There have also been articles in POZ (July, 2000), and almost all other HIV-related publications.

Regarding MD referrals, I don't know where you live. You might check with your local AIDS service organizations for a compassionate and knowledgeable HIV specialist who would be willing to work with you.

Hope Mr. Happy is smiling again sometime very soon.

Dr. Bob


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