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When Should One Consider Anabolic Steroid Use?
Nov 27, 2003

Dear Nelson,

Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer my question! First, I'll give you some of my background - I have had ful blown AIDS for about 8 years now. About 3 years ago I was suffering from AIDS wasting (with no associated oportunistic infection). My weight had gone from 165 lbs to 120 lbs, no hiv meds combe were working, and there didn't seem much that my doctor could do to "save me". I switched to a new doctor, who changed me to a 4 drug combo and also but me on 5mg ofAndrogel daily (still on these meds) - within a few months my CD4 started to go up (low was around 5 - now CD4 is almost 700), viral load became undetectable (and still is), and my weight slowly went up to about 160lbs.

Currently, I go to the gym 4 or 5 times a week (weights and cardio) and weigh 165lbs and am about 5'9" tall. The problems I am having is that I have seemed to hit a wall in my excercise progress - I am in the best shape I've ever been in (and have visible muscle mass - which I never had before), but my muscles don't seem to get any bigger and I also can not lose body fat (body fat gets down to about 18, but I can not get it lower no matter how much cardio I do or adjust my eating). Also, as far as diet and supplements, you should know that I try to eat a high protein, low carb, low fat diet - and supplement with one whey protein shake daily (about 40 grams of whey protein). It is important to me that I build as much lean body mass as possible, as I do not ever want to be in the position I was in when I weighed 120 bs.

So my question is, in your opinion - Would it be appropriate for me to ask my doctor about prescribing anabolic steroids or is there no valid need for them? What else could you recommend that I do?

Thanks, Steve

Response from Mr. Vergel


Good question. You seem to have recovered your weight to pre-wasting levels so it will be difficult for a conservative doctor to prescribe Deca Durabolin, Oxandrin, Winstrol or Anadrol. However, there are some progressive doctors that prescribe even at your height/weight levels and keep close monitoring of your blood work. There are no guidelines in this kind of work, believe it or not. I would get a BIA test just to make sure that your body cell mass, phase angle, and hydration levels are good first. That may help to determine if you are a good candidate for anabolic therapy even though you are not wasting anymore. Go to to find out where you can get free BIAs or call your local HIV organization. Talk to your doctor about this.

Nelson Vergel

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