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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Dec 3, 2004

Dear Doctors, I am a nurse who got stuck with a 25 gauge buterfly needle from a patient with Aids and Hepatitis C. The patient expired a month latter after the incident. At three weeks I tested negative for both deseases. Eight hours after the incident I took the first dose of profilaxis. I did not take Crixivan every eight hours, but twice a day and stopped almost at three weeks because it made me very sick. But I continued with Combivir and stopped taking it at almost four weeks. It has been almost five weeks after the incident. Now, I am experiencing muscle pains in my arms, and mostly shoulders. I have read that muscle pains might be present during the seroconversion period. I never experienced them before. I also read that chances of getting the viruses seems to be low. Basing on the information I provided, do you think I might be seroconverting? I am having muscle pains and that drives even more crazy. Please help!!!

Response from Dr. Henry

Some patients can get muscle irritation from the AZT component of Combivir so that should be checked. Muscle pains are not a common characteristic of HIV seroconversion though they are experienced by some. Your odds are still very good that you are not infected but close follow-up is advised. If you are very worried then you might discuss whether you should get a HIV RNA level (interpreted by an expert) to help sort out. KH

CD4 important?
drug interaction

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