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Rectal Ulcers
Oct 17, 2004

I was diagnosed several years ago with rectal ulcers associated with my HIV infection. Sometimes they get better, but have never totally gone away. I am frequently in pain when I have a bowel movement. I have been given Proctofoam as a treatment with little results. Is this something that I will always have? What can I do if anything, to get rid of them? They really affect my quality of life. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Conway

This is a common problem (unfortunately) which has many causes. The key is to make a specific diagnosis, which can best be done by doing a biopsy of the ulcers when they are most active. If these are caused by herpes, long-term use of anti-herpes medications may solve the problem. If it is caused by a bacterial infection or abscess, a combination of surgery and antibiotics may do the trick. Other diagnoses may be made, and a more specific treatment than Proctofoam may be needed. Hopefully, the results of a biopsy may lead to a strategy that will improve your quality of life.

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