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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Aug 17, 2004

I am a woman who tested Positive two years ago and since that time have gained almost fifty pounds since being placed on Meds, Kaletra, Videx, and Epivir. My blood pressure has gone high for the first time in my life. I am so swollen and retain so much water that I cannot wear shoes, only flip flops. I am getting no answer from my Dr. other than lets just wait and see. My BP was 148/98 lying down, 160/100 standing. I am having trouble breathing. I have been eating correctly with the help of a nutritionalist and was an active person. The more I stand on my feet, the more swollen I get. I drink plenty of water. I am now off of all meds per Dr.s advice. Do any of you have an idea of what is going on and why I am retaining so much water and have pitting edema. My T-cell is 450 and VL is 12,900. Thanks for taking the time to read this letter.

Response from Dr. Henry

I would get a thorough cardiac and renal evaluation for starters as well as get checked for diabetes. Your CD4 count seems OK for now so staying off meds until things get resolved may be OK unless you have a history of a low CD4 count (< 200) or clinical AIDS in which case I am leery about drug holidays. KH

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