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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Aug 13, 2004

I tested poz 5 years ago. I have a vl of 5000 and cd4 presently 770 with 45 percent (so they won't put me on meds yet - even though I experience unexplained loss of muscle).

I just got some labs back from my hematology. I have low RBC at 4.53, high MCV at 94.5, and high MCH at 32.2.

I did use anabolic steroids (200 mg testosterone and 200 mg deca per week) to counter my wasting some 5 months ago. But when testing my liver enzymes back then, they were in normal range, so I never thought it was a problem. Is there sometimes a delayed effect of steroids that can show up in blood work like this so many months later?

Or is this problem Anemia? My testosterone is also a little low - 400 - was 550 before I went on the anabolics. So maybe the lower test, and the Anemia-like numbers are a result of my body building back natural test levels?

Response from Dr. Conway

You have a mild lowering of your RBC count with larger cells. In general terms, this may be linked to B12 or folate deficiency, the latter being most common if your diet is too low in folate. Maybe you need a supplement of this. Otherwise, I would probably advise you to have a good chat with your doctor regarding the need to do other tests to rule out other reversible causes of anemia. I do not think the previous use of steroids has anything to do with it.

Swollen Lymph Nodes
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