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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Treatment for muscle wasting
Oct 13, 2008

Dear Doctor,

Recently my legs have started shrinking, and my hips and buttocks as well. However, the upper body (stomach chest and arms)including the neck have grown bigger. Is there a solution? I have been HIV positive for 10 years now and iam 38 years old, female. Iam taking combivir and viramune. Thanks

Response from Dr. Henry

You need to have a careful assessment (including nutrition assessment) to determine whether you are losing lean body mass, muscle mass, or fat re-distribution in order for your HIV specialist to understand what factors are contributing to your appearance changes. Nutrition issues, hormone levels, fat gain/loss due to HIV factors or HIV meds, exercise levels, aging, genetics, and many other factors contribute to changes in body shape. The AZT in Combivir can lead to fat loss and sometimes muscle problems so a switch to an alternative drug merits discussion. Often the situation is very frustrating without simple/easy answers in many situations. KH

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