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is there anemiain aids and why
Jun 25, 2001

is there anemia in aids and why

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Anemia, an abnormally low number of red blood cells, is quite common in HIV disease. As many as 70 - 80% of HIV-infected people develop anemia at some time during the course of their illness. There are a variety of mechanisms responsible for anemia in the setting of HIV disease.

These include:

1. Anemia of chronic disease: This results from the chronic inflammation caused by HIV, which suppresses the normal bone marrow function. Red blood cells are made in the bone marrow. 2. Medication side effects: AZT, Bactrim, dapsone, ganciclovir, hydroxyurea, alpha-interferon, chemotherapy, etc. 3. Opportunistic infections or malignancies: MAC, parvovirus B-19, etc. 4. Nutritional deficiencies: iron, vitamin B12, and folate. 5. Blood loss: bleeding ulcer, heavy menstruation, trauma, etc.

Anemia can be diagnosed by looking at the hemoglobin level. The normal range for men is 14 - 18 g/dL and, for women, 12 - 16 g/dL.

This is just a brief response, but after all, the question was rather brief as well. Write back if you require additional information.

RJF


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