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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Advice for Brother
Jun 14, 2012

Hello, My brother has been living with HIV since 1986. He has lived a normal life and has been working as a fitness trainer. About five years ago he injured his back but he continued to work and just take pain meds. Recently he has gotten so bad where he cannot walk because the sciatic nerve pain is so bad. He has been going to the VA and they told him they are going to have to operate. He is worried he might end up paralyzed. My parents ar both 80 and they said they will care for him. I think he should stay at the VA where they can take care of him. I am not sure what to do. He told me his viral load is 25,000 so they are going to start him on a new medication. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Henry

I do recommend following advice of the doctors to switch medications if the viral load is up and their is evidence of resistance in order to achieve better control of the HIV infection and improve immune function. HIV+ patients often do pretty well with surgery so the HIV infection should not detract from pursuing the back surgery if indicated. KH

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