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too many health problems cropping up
Sep 19, 2009

Hello there, I was diagnosed in February 2009 and have most likely been HIV+ for 3 years. My CD4 is 830, compared to 700 in February and viral load remains at 4000. I am not taking ARV medication. The past year however has been a catalogue of ailments, which may in part be due to my age (49). I am in the middle of a second bout of shingles, but have also had severe sciatic problems that lasted for 5 months and right elbow joint pain for 6 months that isn't going away. I'm also getting odd and inconsistent pain twinges, painful to the extent that they make me tense up until passed, in various spots around my body, primarily on my back/shoulders and limbs. I am now getting twinges in my other elbow. I'm paying out a fortune in various treatments - physio, osteo, deep heat/deep freeze, painkillers, but none to avail with my elbow joints. Am I more susceptible to these kind of issues as a result of HIV? It just seems alot in one year. I also have a constant sore throat and thick, green nose discharge all the time.I know there are people with much more serious conditions than I, but I am wondering if in these relatively early days, I'm building up for an explosion of ill-health. Thanks very much for your time here.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

"An explosion of ill-health"? That's perhaps being a bit melodramatic, don't cha think? With a CD4 count of 830 (in the normal range) and a very low HIV plasma viral load of 4000, I do not believe any of your current health complaints are HIV related.

Your constant sore throat and green nasal discharge, for instance, are suggestive of a sinus infection, not HIV. HIV can be associated with some rheumatological problems; however, your sciatica and right elbow pain are not suggestive of an HIV-related problem. Shingles, limited to one dermatome (one side of the body and in one specific area), is not suggestive of an HIV-related problem. If the immune system became deficient (yours is not), illnesses like shingles can become more severe, widespread and difficult to treat. Again, this is not the case with you. Most likely you are merely being hypervigilant about your various ailments in light of your relatively new HIV diagnosis. See your general medical doctor for evaluation and treatment of your non-HIV-related problems.

Dr. Bob



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