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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Revisited AIDS related bone pain
May 9, 2005

In 1996 I had both of my hips replaced due to AVN (Avascular Necrosis). Simply put, my blood vessels clogged and no longer fed my hips so the bones crumbled and needed to be replaced. The doctors blamed drinking beer, I don't. A sports injury, that's almost laughable. Over dosing on steroids, again not valid. Why does AIDS or the medication clog vessels and either kill our bones or give us heart attacks? I've never gotten a satisfactory answer. Doctors just say, as they do with a buffalo hump, it has something to do with HIV. Are there any studies that have given any real answers to these problems?

Response from Dr. Conway

It is cler that AVN is more common in HIV-infected individuals than in the general population. This may be due to HIV itself, it could be a result of metabolic complications of HIV or its treatment, or again a result of treatment with certain medications (such as stavudine) that lead to bone loss. A number of key studies are underway that should give us the specific answers to this problem and, most importantly, help us design specific strategies to avoid it.

I should tell you that there is clear evidence from the past to show that alcohol and steroid use both contribute to this condition so it would be a good idea to avoid them as much as possible if someone is also infected with HIV.

When should medication begin.

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