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Child on Kaletra and High Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Aug 29, 2006

From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you all for the wonderful work that you do. It means alot to me and I am sure to so many others to have a forum where we can voice our fears and concerns and have so many knowledgeable doctors give us expert advice and support. I have a 12 year old who is 88 pounds and is a little over 4 feet 6 inches tall on Kaletra, Zerit and Ziagen. Viral load is undetectable and T-cells are above 600. The fact that my child has no complaints healthwise and the undetectable status as well as T-cells sound wonderful, the hiv doctor just informed me that my childs Cholesterol and Triglycerides are extremely high, and that was after having blood drawn while fasting. I cannot tell you how fast my heart sank. The doctor says that I should not worry, that any cardio problems would be 20-30 years down the line and that he doesn't want to switch meds because he wants other options open just in case. That doesn't sit very well with me, as I have heard so many times on the news children dying of heart problems so very young. He doesn't want to prescribe cholesterol lowering drugs either and says that I really should not worry. PLEASE. What can I do to lower such high cholesterol and triglycerides? It is like being placed between a rock and a hard place. On one hand the drugs are doing fantastic regarding the disease itself, but it is causing a life and death situation regarding the heart. I have read that Vitamin C and E as well as Omega 3, diet and exercise help and if that is so, how much should I give to someone that age and with that weight? To be honest with you, I am afraid that while playing outside, my child may die of a heart attack! What is a parent to do? I cannot sleep I am so very worried. Anxiously awaiting your reply and wishing you all a blessed week.

Response from Dr. Henry

Heart disease generally develops slowly so the elevated lipids are not an emergency in the vast majority of cases but bear careful attention. If the regimen could be changed (switch off the Zerit and substitute boosted atazanavir for the Kaletra for example) that might help. Diet and exercise and fish oil supplements often help. I would also get help from a nutritionist and perhaps a pediatric heart specialist for advice. KH

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