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Diabetes and HIV Diagnosis
Jun 27, 2004

Doctor: I am recently diagnosed HIV +. I have had insulin dependent type I diabetes for over 20 years and admittedly, my diabetic control isnt the best. My last HbA1C was in the 9.1 range. I am not sure what I am asking here because I know that diabetes has some affect on the immune system but now sure what that effect is. I rec'd my first T-Cell test and it is 190; my viral load test results wont be available till next week. What are some of the key things I should ask my MD about concerning diabetes and HIV. Thank you for your time.

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello and thanks for posting. We do know that there is a link between HIV infection and diabetes. One issue is that some HIV medications can produce diabetes or worsen diabetic control. People with diabetes (and especially those with poor control) are more likely to get infections due to immune suppression.

In your case, you should question your MD about the choice of antiretroviral medications and their impact on diabetes. In general, the older protease inhibitors like Viracept, Kaletra, and Crixivan have the worst impact on diabetes, although Sustiva also plays a role in raising glucose levels.

In your case it is critical that you get your blood sugars under control. A HbA1C of 9.1 is not good and will eventually bite you. You need to be under the care of an experienced diabetes specialist and closely follow a program to gain a better measure control of this condition. Good luck!

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