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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Urge to pee
Apr 9, 2011

Dear Dr. Henry,

I'm positive since 2005. My CD4 count is approx. 900 and my viral load is undetectable since 2006. Definetely since starting HAART treatment I got an annoying problem: I have to pee much more frequent than before though there's not coming too much urine and the bladder would surely have been capable of storing much more. I have been to more than one urologist but none of them could find anything pathological and they really did some solid examination. The administration of some inhibiting and relaxing meds didn't help. My meds are Combivir/Viramune. I also tested Truvada/Viramune for one year but nothing changed. That really gets on my nerves. I almost think I know every public toilet by name. Could it perhaps be something psychological? That's what my urologist ment at our last date.

Thanks for your time and your advice.


Response from Dr. Henry

Your urinary complaints are not uncommon in the general population and can be due to a variety of causes including increased sensitivity to caffeine or other chemicals (even chocolate for example). Interstitial cystitis is a fairly common and annoying condition that can cause symptoms as you describe. I am not aware of a direct link between interstitial cystitis and your HIV meds or for your HIV meds to be clearly linked to bladder/urethral irritation but that is possible. Anticholinergic effects of many drugs (ie even benadryl) can for some patients cause annoying bladder symptoms. Such bladder complaints may be more common in HIV+ persons though data is not firm on that. Sorry I cant be more helpful-if any reader would like to comment please post. KH

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