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weight loss in hiv infection
Feb 7, 2002

Dr. Fisher, i have one question. weight loss is described as one of the symptoms of hiv infection. how sever is that weight loss and does it happen within a certain period of time? Thanks in advance.

Response from Dr. Fisher

Weight loss (WL) can be mild or severe, occur early in HIV infection or late, be due to the antiretrovirals or not and may occur very rapidly or muc more slowly. So no easy answers to your questions. In any person with HIV WL that is severe is usually associated with opportunistic infections and occurs during late stages (when CD4 counts are low, below 200). If the causes of WL are not treated, serious complications can ensue. So it is important to investigate what is happening if WL is occuring. WL can be treated by getting at the causes (any oportunstic infection, testosterone deficiency in men, HIV itself, etc) as well as with dietary supplements and anabolic agents. We also now see both WL and weight gain as complication of antiretroviral therapy where the changes in weight are due to changes in fat (we can see both fat loss or fat gain or both occur). AF

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