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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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side effects?
Dec 14, 2007

Hello every1, This is the second time i post here. I was tested positive last week and my CD4 count is low (173). My Dr wants to start me immediately on medication: He chose Duovir/stocrin as a regimen. Is this the best choice? and i was reading abt the side effects and some are really serious, isn't there a regimen with milder side effects? Some side effects such as hepatomegaly descrived for Duovir, how do they happen? in the first weeks of the treatment or later on?I'm very afraid and reluctant about starting the treatment eventhough i know there is no other solution. I just needed an expert opinion before going into it. Thank you for your help.

Response from Dr. Henry

Your CD4 count of 173 indicates that you have AIDS and are at high risk to develop serious even life threatening complications. The symptoms experienced by persons ill with an AIDS defining event are often terrible and can include involvement of essentially any organ system in the body. That concern is the background for why effective HIV treatment has been such a huge development for persons with AIDS. Duovir + viramine has an excellent track record for the treatment of AIDS. Many patients experience minor side effects (mostly stomach related) and a small percentage can have more serious problems such as liver or anemia. Monitoring for side effects during the first months of treatment can minimize the chances for a very serious side effect and is routinely done around the world. Honest discussion about drugs includes a list of side effects that is often worrisome for patients and is a part of full proper disclosure. Again, balancing that discussion is awareness of how terrible AIDS is and how the drugs don't work as well if a patient is sick and with a lower CD4 count. The drugs work best to prevent getting sick in the first place! KH

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