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thinking of asking my provider about hGH

Aug 19, 2011

Hello, I'm 35 y/o, newly diagnosed and immunocompromised. My initial labs were cd4 24 and vl of 1.9mil. It was a fever that brought me in. As I read about all the treatment options I was wondering about using hGH to increase cd4/cd8. Is this a viable option for me? The only coninfection my provider mentioned was thrush. I'm being treated to prevent pneumonia as well. I also struggle with chronic fatigue resulting in depression. Not to mention that several of the side effects are really qualities that I wouldn't mind (increased muscle mass, decreased body fat, increased energy) I've been on truvada and viramune since day one without missing any doses. I return in a week for my follow lab draw. I'd like to ask my provider about hGH. What are your thoughts? Thanks J

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

Whoa, your CD4 count is 24 and you're hoping that hGH will improve your CD4 count?

hGH is not a standard option for treatment of HIV, nor improvement in CD4.

If your CD4 is that low (and 24 is really, really low), then you need to have a talk with your health care provider about adherence and monitoring of your brand new antiretroviral regimen. You should also be on two different antibiotics to prevent pneumonia, encephalitis and MAC infection (these are Bactrim and azithromycin).

Be a little patient, as your viral load declines, your CD4 and fatigue will improve. It's reasonable to discuss your concerns with your doctor- particularly as they pertain to your long-term health goals of increased muscle, decreased fat and improved energy; my concern is not to detract from the strategies that are critically important right now.

Be well, BY

HIV- why incurable
About to start treatment....

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