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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
           
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Why do I fall ill so often after starting treatment?
Feb 17, 2013

Dear dr Henry, for the last 3 years I have been experiencing rather unexplainable illnesses. I am rather desperate and suddenly I remembered the existence of this site and how you helped me changing medications after sustiva side effects (thank you!) My defense is at 675 cd4 and my viral load indedectable. I have been in hospital 4 times with following symptoms: high fever, sometimes lasting up to 3 weeks. Because every year coughing has been severe throughout winter, mantoux tests have been done to check for Tubercolosis. Nothing has ever been found. Right now I have been ill for another 3 weeks: starting with fatigue and little fever (37,6 celsius) . Because there was suspicion of pneumonia I have been given antibiotics which have only made fever worse. Is there an explanation for this? I used to be very healthy all year round. Now I fall Ill from december to april nearly constantly. And not just a flu but at least 3 weeks of fever going up to 39/40 celsius. When i get back on my feet it only takes a couple of weeks to all ill again. I remeber when I was infected I had the same symptoms: high fever for a long time. Could it be that because my defense is better my body is again fighting off HIV cells? I know it sounds stupid but I am rather desperate. Oh also there has been a lovely little source of infections running around our house that does not help. Me and my partner have a 3 year old daughter. No doctors in Netherlands or Spain have any explanations (monday they will do another MANTOUX 3rd time over 3 years) Maybe you have heard of this?

sorry for the not so coherent descriptions. Still with fever

kind regards JG

Response from Dr. Henry

Some patients just seem prone to pick up circulating viruses that can lead to sinus infections or bronchitis. Chronic allergies seem to predispose to these situations which are more common in those with small children and/or who smoke. Can be frustrating. I have quite a few patients (though perhaps < 5% of total in our clinic) that get infections several times a year (they often call me early in the course for symptom managemenet plus/minus antibiotic course). Clean air (low dust,mite levels) and humidification can be helpful as can cleaning out the sinuses for some (sinus irrigation). Maximum vaccination also recommended. KH



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