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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
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Aug 18, 1998

Since my diagnosis two years ago I have suffered from acute neutropenia. I take neupogen shots three times a week and if I fail to do so my WBC drops significantly and I become ill. I have had the unpleasant luxury of having a bone marrow test performed and the hematologist said he could not find MAI or MAC in the marrow. He also suspected that the neutropenia and anemia are the result of HIV infection. Is this a logical and crediable answer or should I seek help in a different circle?

Response from Mr. Molaghan

Hello You did the right thing by consulting with a hematologist and also by having a bone marrow biopsy (unpleasant as it was). Although the test didn't show the presence of MAC, further evaluation should be pursued. What medications are you taking? Many medicines used to treat HIV can also cause neutropenia and anemia. The most frequent culprits are AZT, Septra (Bactrim), Gancyclovir, Hydroxyurea, and Pyrimethamine…. to mention only a few. Also, certain viral infections can lower the WBC. Although it is true that HIV disease progression does cause anemia and neutropenia, all potential causes should be evaluated. All hematologists are not necessarily HIV specialists. I would recommend that you seek advice from a physician who specializes in treatment of HIV. Good luck.

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