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Anemia that does not resolve associated with shorter survival
Apr 28, 1998

I recently read in a report (in IAPAC) that "Anemia, particularly anemia that does not resolve, is associated with

shorter survival of HIV-infected patients." What, in your experience, is the best way to resolve anemia. Thanks for your help.

Response from Mr. Molaghan

Hello

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Division of AIDS Prevention was published in the journal, BLOOD. Indeed, one of the conclusions of the study was that anemia is a frequent complication of HIV infection that is associated with an increased risk of death and that recovery from anemia is associated with longer survival for HIV infected persons who develop anemia. This study included data obtained from reviewing the medical records of more than 32,000 HIV infected persons who received medical care from January 1990 through August 1996 in various medical settings throughout the USA. There is no universal way to resolve anemia. The most important factor is to identify the source of the anemia, and intervene. In this study, disease progression was consistently associated with anemia. Therefore, antiretroviral treatment is one way of preventing anemia. Drug induced anemia from medications such as AZT and Trimethoprim/ Sulfa (Septra, Bactrim) can be treated by modification of the drug regimen and/ or treatment with Procrit in HIV infected patients whose endogenous erythropoietin level is less than 500. Anemia may also be an indication of an underlying infection or malignancy, which frequently resolves when the infection is diagnosed and treated. Certain types of chemotherapy can cause anemia, which can also be treated with Procrit. The most effective way to resolve anemia in people with HIV disease, is a thorough medical history, physical exam and monitoring of appropriate laboratory tests that guide the clinician towards diagnoses of the cause and ideal treatment.


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