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Neuropathy
Oct 14, 2001

Dear Judith, I am a 37 years old male postive from last 3 years but not on med. From last 6 months i have been feeling severe neuropathy ( burining and pain in my shin, burning on my both sole). Now i have developed whole body pain and uneasyness. I have not told my doctor about my status. but he has given me an amitripylin 25mg. one pill before bed. It is not working well. I have no other problem. Except i lost 3 kilo in last 6 months. Now i am 60 kilo ( height 160cm).In your site i read a lot of Q&A , there i found this type of neuropathy is in last stage of hiv. Does it means that i am in last stage. But i am infected just 3 years ago. Can not i live next 5 more year? If yes, how can. These days i have been thinking that i am knocking on the death's door. I want to live next 5 more year.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Neuropathy usually appears with more advanced disease. You may have tested positive 3 years ago, but you may have been infected 10 years ago. An educated guess about how long someone has been infected can sometimes be made from their CD4cell count-- you don't mention whether this has been done or not.

Amitriptyline often works very well for neuoropathy, but you may need a larger dose. TELL YOUR DOCTOR THE TRUTH. No physician can take the best care of their patients if they don't know the full story, and in your case, the history of HIV infection is crucial.

Lastly, if you want to live another 5 years or longer, talk to your current doctor (or find another doctor who has expertise in HIV disease) and look into combination treatment for your HIV. That's the best guarantee of living comfortably as well as living longer. Good luck!


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