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HIV & Allergies
Jun 20, 2010

Since becoming HIV-positive, I've noticed an increase in food allergies. For me, it's sulfites (bottled lemon juice, wine, dried fruits) as well as some ingredient that occurs in vitamins and pain killers which causes hives.

Response from Mr. Vergel

Although there is no data on this, many of us complain about increased allergies after getting infected with HIV. Immune activation is common in HIV disease even with undetectable viral load. And allergies are just that: activation of the immune system.

Many of us develop lactose and fructose intolerance, intolerance to fermented products like wine and beer, processed fruit juices and others. We also seem to have more sinus related issues than HIV negatives. But as I said, no one has really looked into this.

After living with HIV for 27 years, I have learned what I am allergic to. I remind people to get in touch with their bodies and to remember the last meal/snack they had before diarrhea or allergy symptoms occurs. Only then we can learn what to avoid to prevent them.

I always have a supply of claritin (sinus congeston), digestive enzymes (gut issues), and benadryl (allergies) when I am traveling just in case.

Nelson



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