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allergy to mosquito bites
Aug 9, 2002

A number of HIV infected individuals, including me, have developed a reaction to mosquito bites where much swelling occurs, e.g. my entire forearm will swell if bitten there. It can be quite painfull. I wear repellent but would like to know how to alleviate the reaction once bitten or how to prevent the reaction from happening?

Response from Dr. Henry

Living in Minnesota where mosquitos are the state bird, I have been impressed how often HIV+ patients have severe reactions to insect bites. It may have something to do with the high gamma globulin levels (antibody) typically seen with HIV infection. The best insect repellants usually have DEET in them. Topical or systemic antihistamines, topical steroids, and cimetidine seem to help for the itching in many patients. If you know of any good advice-let me know! KH



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