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Spinal tenosis
Dec 2, 2015

Hi Nelson. Just had a painful hospital stay for sciatica. They're telling me my body is "20 years ahead" of my 35 yr positive athletic body. i thought I was doing pretty well up to now. I am 55. That makes me "75" in a body that looks like I'm 42. Is this the new normal? I'm bummed. Erik in Portland, OR

Response from Dr. Young

Hello Erik in Portland and thanks for posting.

Some pretty careless words from your hospital doctors. Shame on them.

If you're 55 years old (even without HIV), sciatica and spinal stenosis could (unfortunately) happen. While there's concern about premature aging in people living with HIV, sounds like you're otherwise doing well and staying fit. Indeed, there's a lot of debate if it's premature aging, or if people living with HIV have other risk factors for health complications (eg., do poz people smoke more than negatives)

There's much to do to age healthy with HIV- and not everyone has aging complications, but nonetheless it's not uncommon. For starters, get that spinal stenosis cared for appropriately, take a look at our pages on healthy aging at

Then, feel free to write me back with any questions. Be well, BY

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