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HIV & Weight Loss
Sep 7, 2012

Hi Nelson;

Hope you are well. Your good work here is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Quick questions regarding weight. 1. Does an untreated HIV infection always result in weight loss? 2. Is it possible for a newly HIV infected individual to actually GAIN weight just by eating well/more WITHOUT being on meds?

Many Thanks; Jakob

Response from Mr. Vergel

Jakob

Unintentional weight loss happens later in HIV disease and not in newly infected people, unless the person has diarrhea, appetite loss due to depression, etc. In the 1990's before effective HIV regimens, many of us survived because we kept our weight up eating well, doing resistance exercise and taking testosterone or anabolics.

Having a high viral load for years takes a toll on the protein reserves of the body, which causes wasting syndrome. For some people that occurred a lot earlier than in others. Wasting syndrome was one the the top 3 causes of death back in the dark years. Fortunately, that is not the case anymore in developed countries.

Make sure that you know your CD4 cells and your HIV viral load no matter what your weight is. These two numbers are key in helping you and your physician to decide if and when you should start HIV medications.

Here is a recent article on eating healthy:http://www.positivelyaware.com/2012/12_01/hiv_wellness_series.shtml

Nelson



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