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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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symptom related to my HIV status?
Jul 17, 2003

I have a question that I can't afford to schedule another dr. appt. to have answered, and am hoping you can help me out. I was diagnosed 2 yrs ago, and aside from feeling overwhelmingly tired and fatigued constantly, I have also been experiencing what I hope is only acne, although I've never had problems with it before. In fact, I started getting these horrible, LARGE, deeply embedded lesions that take a week, sometimes two to heal, and often leave behind scars. I've been taking over-the-counter acne pills along with a benzoyl cream, and it is working well at keeping these monsters at bay, but I cannot miss doses because they always come back. Is this caused by HIV, or is it just another "phase" I'm going through?? I'm 25, by the way, and why should I be cursed with acne now when that worry never even crossed my mind as a teen? Frustrating!

Response from Dr. Henry

Acne, seborrhea, fungal skin infections--all are more common in HIV+ patients in my experience. More recently, boils due to drug resistant staphylcoccus have been reported from many locations throughout the world (we have seen 3-4 such cases recently in my clinic). HIV is rarely the direct cause of the skin problems but rather can set the stage for such problems. KH

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