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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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newly diagnosed
Jul 25, 2003

I was diagnosed 2 months ago and immediately began taking Viracept/Combivir/Bactrim. The initial GI side effects have faded but I do get a headache every afternoon. I eat well and only take meds at morning and bedtime. Also, most annoying is the itchy rash on my chest, neck and jawline. This is almost constant. Will benadryl help? Can you recommend a topical cream? Viral load is 500,000 and Tcells are 76. Also, I have experienced short term memory loss and lack of concentration. Thank you for your response. This site is a Godsend!

Response from Dr. Henry

You should discuss with your HIV doc. Your HIV regimen sometimes has not done quite as well in the setting of a high viral load as others (such as a Sustiva or Kaletra based regimen) though most still do well. Rash often flares up partly as a result of improvement in the immune system. There are many causes for the rash (from drug reaction to folliculitis to fungal infections). For itching benadryl can help and is OK with your HIV meds. Making a specific diagnosis of the skin problem helps to treat more effectively (I often get a skin specialist to help). KH

:ymphnode swelling side effect?
Swollen Saliva Gland

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