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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Nov 25, 2009

I am on Reyataz, Norvir and Truvada. I have been positive for 2 years. I live a healthy life-no drugs, alcohol pre and post HIV. I read a New York Magazine article (Nov 9, 2009) on HIV and Aging which concerned me and depressed me afterwards. What are the chances that I will get dementia? ( My grandmother had dementia around 88, no one else I know of in the family)

Response from Dr. Henry

Good question. There is some data (not altogether convincing or final word on the subject) that suggests that there may be some premature aging/frailty occurring in HIV+ patients including concern about increased risk for some level of early onset dementia. The impact of effective HIV control, good CD4 cell counts, hepatitis C, use of alcohol or other drugs, control of other medical problems such as diabetes/hypertension, particular HIV regimen, and other key factors is not at all well sorted out (needs more attention and research). Most of my HIV+ patients > 50 doing well on treatment still seem to be doing well and even thriving but our site (and many others) are doing studies looking at the evolution of health problems among HIV+ patients who are seemingly doing well. I wish I could be more precise in my answer but good long-term data is still limited and individual factors are likely to play a role (ie genetics, other medical problems, HIV and treatment history). KH

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