Aug 14, 1997
Dear Dr. Gallant, Is there any correlation between HIV infection and testosterone levels (either from the infection or medications used to treat the infection)? I have been positive for nearly 12 years and have remained asymptomatic. CD4s in 500-600 range, 25% ratio, undetectable viral load. Currently taking Zerit, 3TC, and Crixivan. Although my weight has not changed (220), my body composition has changed somewhat. Muscle tone seems less pronounced (waistline has expanded without decrease in exercise intensity or increase in food intake). Have also recently experienced decrease in sexual sensation and erectile dysfunction. My physician ordered testosterone levels (free and total) and, although values were within normal limits, they were on the lowest end of the range. Could any of this be related to the meds or the the HIV infection itself? Thanks for the great work!!
Response from Dr. Gallant
Low testosterone levels can be a result of HIV infection itself. There are also medications that can lower testosterone levels, such as Megace.
When your testosterone levels are in the low end of the normal range and you have symptoms (loss of muscle mass, fatigue, or loss of libido or sexual performance), it's very reasonable to consider testosterone replacement therapy.
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