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testosterone level
Oct 20, 1998

I have been HIV + for nine years. My t cells average in the 700 range and my viral loads have consistently been between 2 ,000 and 4,000 for the last three years. I am on 3tc and azt and have been asymtematic. I have been holding off on going on a protease inhibitor because all my lab work and overall health has been so stable. I tend to get tired at times so I got my testosterone checked and it was approximately 200 which is on the low end. What values have you seen with people that are hiv+ and would you reccommend some type for hormone replacement for me at this level? My lean muscle mass is fine and I'm 240 lbs .

Response from Mr. Molaghan

Hello Testosterone is a male hormone that contributes towards sex drive, energy level, appetite and a few other important functions. As HIV disease progresses, many people develop decreased endogenous production of this hormone, and may benefit from replacement therapy. Testosterone is usually measured as free or total testosterone. The reference range for total testosterone is 180- 1200. It sounds like you had a total testosterone level of 200, which is at the low end of normal. Many people benefit from physiologic replacement (Merely replacing the amount of hormone that the body isn't producing) of testosterone. The potential benefits include increased energy, increased sex drive, and improved appetite and general improvement in a sense of well being. The free testosterone level is considered by some to be more accurate, and the reference ranges vary from one laboratory to the next. It's also a bit more expensive, so many hospitals and clinics don't offer the test.


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