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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Pointy Breasts
Apr 25, 2004

Greetings and thanks very much for this service.

Over the past few months, I have noticed a single, slightly painful lump beneath the nipples of each of my two breasts. In addition, my breasts seem to have aquired a most peculiar shape and size. Not only are they larger than they once were, but they also have become so POINTY that I look like I am wearing one of Madonna's bras. This wouldn't particularly bother me, except that I am, in every other respect, a normal skinny man.

Any ideas as to what might be the cause of this, and how it can be rectified? I have been taking the usual dosages of Stocrin and made-in-Thailand generic stavudine and lamivudine. Viral load is undetectable and CD4s around 350. Otherwise, no major problems, except for chronic fatique.

Would appreciate any insights you might have. I enjoy playing with my new boobs, but they look kind of weird.

Thanks again...

Response from Dr. Henry

Male breast abnormalities are not uncommon in the setting of HIV and its treatment. Whether your HIV meds contribute is hard to pin down. Some male patients have low testosterone levels which may complicate matters further. Switching the meds around (if that is an option) occasionally helps. The location of increased breast or fatty tissue varies-your vivid description fits several patients I have cared for. In those cases I did get a mammogram to check for any other pathology. Several of the patients have had the tissue removed surgically while others got better over time with nothing, several just put up with it and several seemed to get better on low dose testosterone replacement. KH

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