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Who Do I Tell?
Apr 29, 2008

Hello, and thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I was diagnosed with AIDS in 2004. I'm currently on meds and have an undetectable VL and a CD4 of 600. All other general labs have been normal as well (cbc, liver functions, kidney functions, etc). My problem is I work in the construction/landscaping field and fatigue seems to finally be taking it's toll on me. I eat and drink plenty, take vitamin supplements, but am so tired and achy by the end of the day and by the end of the week that I have no energy to complete normal tasks at home. I eat Ibuprofen like candy. Basically I have the energy to work, but any of my own time is pretty much spent sleeping to catch up for the next day or week. And it's 100 times worse in the summer when the sweat really starts to flow! My question is: Do I go to my doctor first about this, or do I approach my employer? I wasn't sure if there was something I could be lacking and should pursue a few tests first. Or if you think my job is the source of the fatigue and chronic pain. And I need to put up with it or find another line of work. Thanks for your advice!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I'd suggest you discuss this with your HIV specialist first. He should evaluate you for all the underlying causes of HIV-associated fatigue, including anemia, hormonal imbalances (low thyroid hormone, hypogonadism, adrenal insufficiency), medication toxicities/side effects, occult infections, psychological issues (depression, anxiety, stress), etc., etc., etc. You can read more about these common as well as many not-so-common causes of HIV-associated fatigue in the archives of this forum. Once these have been evaluated and attended to, if your job is still too physically demanding, your HIV specialist can put you on work restriction so that you can keep your job and benefits, but also attend to your health issues.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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