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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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What are the odds?
Jun 26, 2002

I have a question that has been dogging me for weeks since I've found out that I was HIV+(June 6th). I'm starting meds in July and have heard so much about lypodystropy and/or wasting. I'm very nervous about this. Is it a highly common side effect. I understand there is no treatment currently for it. I have always been on the thin side body fat about 4-7. I'm 5'9" and weigh 160-165lbs. Based on those figures can you tell me anything or is the predisposition of the body not a factor at all? I'm very nervous as my VL is over 1/2million and my CD4 has dropped to 94. I need to start meds right away.

Response from Dr. Boyle

With your T cells as low as they are, control of the virus and improving your immune system are a high priority. Patients with your body habitus may may be somewhat more likely to develop lipodystrophy, but a recent study also indicates that patients with your T cells are also more likely to develop lipodystrophy. Still, even in the group most likely to develop lipodystrophy only 1/3 did, so it is not like it is an absolute or inevitable.

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