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weight wasting being an adolescent hiv positive

Feb 9, 2007

My daughter is 17 and a year has passed since she began wasting weight. Now she weights 37 kg. We are from Argentina, Ive tried many psychological therapies with no result. My daughter is constantly depressed and deserts every treatment we start. Im in search of something to help her more effectively, I dont know what else I can try

Response from Dr. Horwath

The wasting is not a psychological symptom. In most people with HIV infection, it is a biological manifestation of caused by some of the chemicals released by the inflammatory response that the virus causes. You should consult her doctor for advice on appetite stimulates, which are sometimes helpful for this symptom.

She also needs treatment for her depression. Anorexia also may be a biological symptom of depression. For treatment of the depression, I would advise consulting a psychiatrist who has some experience in treating depressed persons with HIV infection. There are excellent treatments for depression. Improvement in the depression is very likely to help her return to a more healthy appetite.

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