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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Absorption Issue/Gastrointestinal
Oct 25, 2006

I am 35 years old and have AIDS. My CD4 is 56 and viral load is over 500,00. I am unable to take meds because my body does not absord food, liquid or medications. I have chronis diarrhea and am down to 124 pounds from a hearty 170. I have tried prescription medication and /natural treatments including probiotics to no avail. I am down to drinking high protein shakes, bread/crackers, bananas, yogurt, a little fish, and the rest is history from my diet. I am scheduled for my third colonoscopy and upper endoscopy. No one seems to have any answers or resolutions. Is it over? Should I just quit? Any insight would be appreciated.



Response from Dr. Henry

Aggressive gastrointestinal evaluation (infection, pancreatic insufficiency, gluten enteropathy are consdierations in some patients), hormone status evaluation, nutritional support (including IV hyperalimentation if needed), and attempts to find an acceptable HIV regimen are important to consider. In some cases we have put a feeding tube into the stomach to administer HIV meds. Use of liquid or pediatric forms of HIV meds helps in some patients. Marinol or Megace can stimulate the appetite. Drugs like Sandostatin can help if severe intractable diarrhea. KH

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