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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
           
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HIV + with lost sex drive
Jun 11, 2004

II am 45, married HIV+ know for about 8 years, one child infected but doing well. I've also been told I'm bi-polar, manic depressive. I have no sex drive, although I might dream about it occasionally. I am unhappy about the body changes from the medications, but I feel like just wanting to ignore the world and just sleep all the time. Even with spring here, I still just want to sleep. I am taking effexor, and klonopin. I am not taking any HIV meds of my own choice. My viral load is 498 my CD4 500. I am using supplements and herbs to keep some things in check. What can I do to want to live again and be happy? I need a magic pill? I just want to be happy any ideas? Do you have any doctor suggestions? I live near Charleston SC. I want to make love to my husband again.

Response from Dr. Conway

I am very sorry to hear of your problem. With the CD4 count that you have, you can safely stay off all antiretroviral therapy, at least for the time being. If your CD4 count has not ever been below 350, you could possibly stay off indefinitely. The key point here is to keep monitoring things and if your counts stay above 250 cells/mm3, you can choose to remain off therapy.

With respect your major problem, I would want you to make sure there is no systemic problem for your symptoms, including thyroid disease, diabetes or some other hormone imbalance. Barring this, I would probably advise you to make sure the diagnosis of depression is confirmed and that it is treated as aggressively as possible.

I hope this helps.



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