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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Personality effects of HIV
Sep 26, 2005

I have a very close relative that has had HIV since the 1980s. I don't know if it has moved over to full blown AIDS. He is ill and extremely thin. He used to be loving and caring and now hates all of his family including me. Is it the HIV/ AIDS that is affecting his brain and attitude?

Response from Dr. Conway

It could be a number of things. It is true that HIV affects the brain and can cause changes in thinking and personality. Some of the infections that complicate HIV (such as toxoplasmosis and syphilis as examples) can do the same thing. But quite apart from all this, people who have chronic illnesses (especially as they progress) can have changes of this type as part of how they are having difficulty dealing with their illness. If this is the case here, your support is all the more important in helping to address the symptoms.

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