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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Oct 27, 2001

dear doctor, I am 46 years old hiv+ for the last 4 years and on meds since then. viracept and combivir. doing very well. cd4 count 1000 and undectectable vl. I have noticed some weekness in wrist and fingers. have some kind of nerve or muscle injury on my left wrist for months already with not much improvement. noticed pain 1 day after exercise with my arms and wrist on maschine. I used to do the same exercise for a long time before hiv and never experienced this kind of injury. I also noticed considerable loss of fat in my arms and wrist. this may contribute to weaker conditions. but my big concern is, for about one week now i have this numbness in 3 fingers on my right hand. especially at night I experience some strange pain in these fingers accompanied by numbness. in the morning after getting up it takes a few hours for the numbness to go away. i am not seeing my doctor for another 2 months. could this be an early sign of neuropathy or early sign of heart attack. ( read once about heart attack symptoms a while back.) I would also like to mention that I smoke about 10 cigarettes a day and don't drink or do drugs. Any suggestion? Thank you for your answer. Sincerely, jack new york

Response from Dr. Henry

From what information you provided it would seem unlikely that your complaints are due to standard neuropathy from HIV or the drugs you are on. You may have some form of compression neuropathy (carpal tunnel or axillary/cervical) that might warrant referral to a neurologist to sort out. HIV neuropathy is not usually seen when someone is doing well from the HIV standpoint like you. Also, the drugs you are on are not usually associated with neuropathy. Some of the post-exercise pain could be due to tendon/muscle stress. Loss of fat (lipoatrophy) doesn't usually cause those symptoms. KH

Shingles or something else?
Lipids through the roof on Sustiva & Celexa

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