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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
           
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Fatigue, Depression and HIV Drugs
Oct 13, 1998

Dear Sir,

I have been living with AIDs for 6 years and knowledge of my HIV status for 9 years. I have tried every med on the market for HIV/AIDS and many while still in trials. These days we are in a holding pattern waiting for new and improved drugs to fight HIV/AIDS. I still take a combo of Viracept, Fotovase, DDC, 3TC, Hydroxyure. Also other meds are Cytovene, Zithromax, and Lomotil. I have never been able to lower my viral load to the magical area of undectable. The best we have been able to achieve is 1400 with T-cells of about 100. I understand we have had to set new goals because I am so pre-treated. The OI's I have survived are MAC, PCP, CMV Retinitis, Panceititus. I am also HCV positive. I have been living with Fatigue, Depression and HIV/AIDS forever. Some of the fatigue I am sure is medication induced. I have so few medication options for HIV/AIDS that changing meds right now are not possible. For depression I seek therapy. I have been in therapy for years to help in this area. I also know in the labs that I am showing more aneima. I have been living with fatigue for years. I have learned to manage my daily life with fatigue and the limitations it has placed on me. Now for my quetion: Is their any options for someone like myself? Meds? Or anything? Or is this just one of those things I will have to contiue to live with the rest of my life.

Thank you for all your help

Response from Mr. Molaghan

Hi Thanks for including such a complete clinical picture. People like you have to deal with the frustration of having tried all the medications and waiting for new ones to be more effective. The fact that you've successfully survived PCP, MAC and CMV is in itself a major accomplishment. Although your "numbers" are not where you'd like them, your clinical report is excellent. You've mentioned that you've noticed more anemias. This could be due to the fact that you have MAC and also might be exacerbated by the Hydroxyurea. Review your hemoglobin with your physician. If it is less than 10 gm/dl. you may benefit from treatment of the anemia with Procrit. Make sure also to check an Epo level, if you are anemic. Correcting the anemia can dramatically improve the quality of your life. In terms of the depression, it's good that you're in therapy. Are you taking any medication for depression? Good luck! I admire your endurance.


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