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Why can't I remember?

Sep 10, 2011

I am concerned about my inability to remember many things. I have a lot of short term memory loss. Sometimes I will even forget what I'm saying as I'm saying it. I have a hard time concentrating and sometimes I will forget something right after it is said. I have seen a lot of discussion on here about HIV dementia, but I have been on HIV meds since 1999. My viral load is undetectable and my CD4 is around 1100, so I didn't think I need to worry about opportunistic infections or conditions. Could my memory loss and confusion be caused by my ARVs? I'm a 44 year old woman, could it be caused by pre-menopause?

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Thanks for writing. Your memory problems sound quite severe and should be followed up with your physician. Both medications and menopause can create memory concerns, as you note. Memory problems that occur in the early stages of menopause do seem to abate. You have good CD4 counts, although recent studies have found that the progression of certain kinds of HIV-related dementia is more related to the CD4 nadir (the lowest point ever) than current CD4 levels. Your physician may refer you for neuropsychological testing which can better determine exactly what is going on.

Good luck, David

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