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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Allergies and HIV
Mar 7, 2001

I have severe year round allergies. I live in the Boston area. When my viral load goes over 20,000 I am grossly disabled experiencing gross fatigue and flu like symptoms.Why is this happening and iss there anything to treat my allergies other than traditional meds. which don't help me?

Response from Dr. Henry

I have seen a number of persons like yourself. I think that some persons with HIV infection have a hyper-reactivity syndrome that may partly be related to high levels of antibodies (immunoglobulins) that are common in the setting of HIV infection. You don't mention if the symptoms are lessened when you viral level is low (if so then maintaining a low viral level would be the priority). I don't know if you have seen an allergist/immunologist yet. If not then you might seek there opinion. I sometime have had luck with cromolyn nasal spray as a preventative. I have also used cimetidine and trazadone occasionally with success. I assume that when you say that standard treatment hasn't worked that you have tried nasal steroids and some of the newer antihistamines. I don't have any experience using ginko, dong quai, nettle, or reishi mushrooms but anecdotal data suggests those alternative treatments may help some folks. I hope that gives you a few ideas. KH

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