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HIV and the common cold
Mar 17, 2009

My partner has been HIV positive for about 2 years now. Recently he caught a cold, his first since being diagnosed. He is concerned that it took longer for him to get over this cold than it has in the past. Is this normal or something to be concerned about? He has not shared his concerns with his doctor (and is not likely to as he likes to avoid those discussions) so I trying to find some information to allay his fears, or motivate him to seek care. Either way I just want him to have information based on science rather than his own fears alone. Thanks!

Response from Dr. Young

Hi and thanks for your post.

In general, HIV+ persons don't have worsened frequency or severity of symptoms from the common cold. It's important to recongnize that among the many viral causes of "colds", some cause more or less severe symptoms.

The real issue is to discriminate which sympoms are due to the a minor viral infection and a more serious medical condition.

Either way, any unexpected or severe symptoms, irrespective of cause, should be discussed with healthcare providers.

Hope this is helpful, BY



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