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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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impotence and fatigue and depression
Apr 21, 2006

I was diagnosed as HIV+ in 86 and so have been positive for a very long time. I try to take very good care of my self and am in a Long term relationship. I moved to a smaller comunity from a major west coast city in 1999 to live with my SO and we are very happy together. However I was not on meds again till 2002 and do to unemployment, did not have coverage or know about state assistance/RyanWhite funding and so let my t-cell count drop foolishly to below 200. I have been on meds since and am doing well. The problem is that I am totaly impotent. No erection, no drive, no interest, no nothing. I also tend to have a lot of fatigue and have been getting up at nights not able to sleep. I am fighting depression and what not. I have not been able to get any assistance with these issues from my HIV Dr. and don't know where to turn. I am taking blood presure meds as I almost had a heart attack about a year ago and had a stent inserted for a coronary blockage. I know that you guys can offer pretty good advise at times and was wondering where to go to start getting this put back together. I would also like to go back to work and what not. Can you help me with where to begin? Sincerely. Thank you all so very much in advance. HUGS J.s

Response from Dr. Henry

You might ask to have your testosterone levels checked (often low in the setting of advanced HIV infection). Testosterone replacement for low levels often can be helpful. Drugs like VIagra can often be used though starting at low doses due to concerns about drug interactions particularly with protease inhibitors (cannot be used if you need to use nitrates for any angina). An evaluation by a urologist can sometimes be helpful as can discussion with your HIV specialist and/or a supportive psychologist or other mental health worker. KH

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