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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
           
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long term effect of HIV meds
May 7, 2006

What are the long term effect of HIV treatment on the liver, body and how long can one live with HIV infection. These meds seem to be very toxic. Sometimes I feel I was told the effects aren't that bad and that I can have a long life, just to keep my morale up. The truth please, even it is is unpleasant.

Response from Dr. Conway

The truth is actually good news. We have gotten much better at understanding how to manage the side effects of the medications. Although it is true that some of the agents might affect the liver or cause the blood cholesterol levels to go up, we can recognize these effects quite rapidly and choose alternative therapy that will work just as well against the HIV. Some of the drugs can also cause body shape changes in the long run, but we now know which ones those are and we just avoid them. The key here is for you to be able to tell your doctor when you are having a side effect of any kind, so that you wind up on an effective treatment that you will be able to tolerate for a long time.

For you, my friend, the truth can be very pleasant.



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