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Night Sweats
Mar 17, 2000

Dear Doctors,

What is it about HIV that causes those darn drenching night sweats like the ones I had during ARS? Why are the drenching sweats so exclusive to HIV? I was infected in 7/98 and never had treatment. I have been noticing some mild sweats lately. Not like ARS, but enough to make my T-shirt damp when I sleep.

Thanks for your good work here.

Jack

Response from Dr. Henry

Good question. I would wonder first if you are actually having fever with your sweats(get a thermometer and keep track -- the digital ones are easy to use). The interaction between HIV and your immune system causes the release of lots of powerful substances from your white cells that can cause fever and/or sweats with different patterns in different people. Other infections can also cause sweats or fever as can some tumors so a good general evaluation is a good idea. You don't mention what your CD4 and HIV RNA levels are or whether you are taking any medications. Those factors can also influence sweating and fever. Keith Henry, M.D.



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