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HIV/AIDS, co-diagnosis Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, antivirals, toxic chemical exposure.
Sep 24, 1998

I am a Registered Nurse working in Australia in health promotion, education, information and counselling for people with HIV. I have lived with symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome now for over ten years. My work indicates to me that there are numbers of people living with HIV who also have an unrecognised dual diagnosis of CFS/HIV. These people may also be unusualy intolerant of antiviral and other medication. Recent research in Australia indicates organochlorine pesticides play a significant role in CFS. The conventional view in Australia regarding extreme fatigue in people with HIV is that HIV alone causes this. Is there any research of which you are aware, that is being undertaken to investigate any realtionship between fatigue, HIV, CFS and exposure to pesticides and other environmental toxins? I suspect that a more open minded approach to this question may provide significant results.

Response from Mr. Molaghan

Hello Thanks for your comments. My experience with patients with symptoms of CFS and HIV has not shown any increased intolerance to antiviral medication (thus far). I agree that clinicians must have a more open mind about potential toxins as a cause of CFS. I am not aware of any research correlating pesticides, HIV and CFS. It's quite difficult to find good data on quality of life issues such as fatigue in much of the HIV research that has been done (fatigue is difficult to quantify, and is very subjective). I am encouraged, however that much the HIV related nursing research that has been done, does look at quality of life issues. Keep us informed of any new findings from Australia.


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