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Scared of Weight Gain -- Meds
Mar 29, 2000


I am a 32 year old female, diagnosed with HIV in 96. I have been very scared of starting meds; however, my T-cells have now dropped below 200, and I must commence therapy. Besides the many feared possible side effects that may occur with all of the different meds available, I am primarily concerned about gaining weight and developing a high level of fat on my body. Are there meds that won't give you this weight gain? I have battled with my weight all of my life. Although I am not obese, just about 20lbs overweight, my greatest fear is uncontrollable weight gain. Please help me with this. I keep having more reasons to fear starting with treatment.

Response from Dr. Fisher

A PI-sparing regimen (nucleosides such as AZT, 3TC, d4t, ddI, abacavir) in combination with a nonnucleoside (such as nevaripine, sustiva or delavirdine) or a 3-nucleoside regimen (2 nukes with abacavir) are probably much less likely to promote unwanted weight gain than a regimen containing a PI. Whatever you choose you must exercise regularly and watch your fat intake. As HIV infection improves there is a natural tendency to gain weight.

Alvan Fisher, M.D.

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