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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Skinny but HIGH cholesterol!
Dec 9, 2004

Hi... I've been on very successful & side-effect free treatment with Sustiva/Truvada for about 9 weeks. I am 40, 5'8 & 132 lbs. I have always been slim, my heaviset weight was 140. I've only lost about 7 lbs. since being diagnosed about 3 months ago, due to a lighter appetite. Here is the difficult irony: I have been battling high cholesterol for several years (caused in part by HIV??) that was well controlled by Lipitor, but ceased taking it when I started treatment. My cholesterol is back up to the mid-200's (the LDL low). How can I gain back the lost weight, without eating all the foods we think of as troublesome? I don't want to add the stress of statins to my liver.

Response from Dr. Henry

Sustiva based regimens can increase cholesterol levels (there are at least 3 fractions-HDL, LDL, and VLDL which need to be assess to sort out what the level of concern should be). The low LDL suggest the increase may be in the trigylceride rich fraction-VLDL. Diet, exercise, and hormone replacement (i.e. testosterone if low levels) are the starting points for weight gain. I engage a helpful dietician to discuss diet and often recommend a trainer to discuss exercise options. KH

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