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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Gaining Weight
Feb 2, 2007

I was diagonosed 3 years ago. Currently no Viral load and T-Cell count of 650. I have now switched to Atripla from Combivir/Sustiva. I'm experiencing muscle/fat loss in legs and arms. Fortunately, I have not developed a fatty deposits on back, neck or stomach. My arms and legs are becoming thin and veins are showing. I would like to try to add muscle mass and a little weight. I'm 5'8 and 142. Any supplements or weight training to add back some muscle? My doctor says the Atripla will have less effect on losing body mass. Thanks!

Response from Dr. Henry

Switching from Combivir/Sustiva to Atriple (tenofovir/FTC/efavirenz-Sustiva) may slow down/reverse subcutaneous fat loss. The HIV drugs rarely directly cause loss of muscle mass. Exercise, diet changes such as an increased protein intake, and normalization of hormone (testosterone) levels if low can increase muscle mass. KH

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