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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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CBC results - low RBCs with High MCV values
Feb 16, 2007

On my past 2 CBCs, 09/2006 and 02/2007, my RBCs have been low (3.61 has been the lowest) and the MCV value has been high (highest has been 104.4). I have been HIV+ since 04/2004 and on Sustiva and Truvada since 07/2004. I have also had a recent weight loss of about 7#. I contribute the weight loss to poor nutritional intake as I know that I have not been eating well for the past several months. What might be the cause for these abnormal values? Could it be nutrition related? Medication s/e?

Response from Dr. Henry

A wide range of conditions can lead to mild anemia and/or macrocytotis in HIV+ persons on treatment. Potential contributing factors include vitamin/mineral deficiencies (such as folic acid, vitamin B12, iron)from) a variety of causes, drug effects (more common with AZT and D4T containing regimens), chronic disease states (such as thyroid disorders, liver disease, alcohol use), blood loss (such as bleeding ulcer or through menstruation), and many others. Analysis of a blood smear and other lab tests, a complete history (including review of all meds and activites) and physicial examination often can identify potential causes for anemia. In some cases a consultation from a hematologist is helpful. KH

what kind of Dr do I see

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