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Oct 7, 2007

when it is said that liver problems are a concern of hiv, is that due to hiv attacking the liver or is that due to the hiv meds?

Response from Dr. Wohl

The liver of an HIV+ person is an organ that gets a lot of concerned attention for a number of reasons. Foremost, there is a worry that HIV meds that are metabolized via the liver may be a strain, perhaps leading to problems over time. That so far has not been the case. More significant is the hepatitis B or C infections that many people with HIV also must deal with. These infections are more common among HIV+ people and can wreak havoc especially when teh immune system is weakened by HIV. HIV itself may do something to the liver and there are data that suggest those who stop HIV treatment experience more liver disease than those who remain on HIV meds.

We get two kidneys, two lungs but only one liver. It is worthy of a great degree of respect and care. Getting tested and treated for Hep B and C is important as is avoiding over doing it with liver toxins such as alcohol.


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