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Anabolic Steroids
Nov 25, 2002

Is it true that in order for someone to increase muscle mass (Arnold Schwarznegger type) that they have to use steroids to reach their goals? I'm 19 and I want to hear the truth from an expert. People always lie about these kind of things.

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

Seeing as how this is a forum for HIV and AIDS information, I will put a response in that context.

You have a "genetic potential" for the top end of muscularity you are likely to reach with diet and exercise. You can look to your family to get an idea of what the limitations might be.

In the context of HIV infection, testosterone replacement is recommended to normalize body functions. Testosterone therapy without hypogonadism may reduce your body's ability to make its own.

An anabolic analog may also be recommended, but primarily to restore lost weight and muscle tissues rather than to build to Schwartznegger dimensions.

Please note that the use of any medication should be based on a risk vs. benefit evaluation. Anabolic steroids have been used to push the body's potential for building muscle. The use of testosterone and analogs for body building purposes is short-term thinking and I would encourage you to think about the long-term issues (when there is no apparent medical need) about it before making your decision. Testosterone therapies work best if accompanied by a good diet and exercise. Testosterone is not a replacement for exercise in this case and you will be very disappointed in the results of body building if you don't emphasize exercise first. If you do decide to undertake this type of therapy you should be monitored by a physician routinely.


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