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Arthritis like symptoms in joints - due to meds
Jun 23, 2000

My 62 year old mother has been HIV+ since 1989 and started taking medications immediately upon diagnosis. Within the past year or so she have been experiencing several pain in the hips. She can not walk 50 feet with out having to stop due to the pain. She describes the pain "as if there is no lubricate in her hips and it is bone rubbing on bone"

Can this be caused by the prolonged usage of the medications/cocktail or is it a symptom of the virus progressing? What is the live expectancy now for HIV positive patients?

Response from Dr. Henry

Elderly persons can get pain in their hips from conditions like osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease independent of their HIV status or treatment. HIV treatment may be linked to a vascular necrosis of the hips (data is soft at present) and/or accelerated osteoporosis (data is also soft). She needs to have the hip region X-rayed and then have her MD or rheumatologist discuss the diagnosis and treatment. In the current treatment era in rich countries, the life expectancy of persons with HIV is lengthening steadily. Since we don't yet have a clear idea of how long the current treatment will work then it is hard to estimate how long people can live but for general discussion I often say I try to play for 20+ years. Keith Henry, M.D.

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