Jan 26, 2002
I'm 42 and have "old AIDS", having positive for 17 years. I realize that at my age, I could be approaching menopause. My periods are getting more erratic and in the last few weeks I've been experiencing extreme hot flashes. I'll be seeing my doc next week, but in the meantime I am interested: have any studies been done on HIV & menopause? I'm having a hard time functioning during these flashes, especially since it's improper to urgently and violently strip off my clothes in the grocery store or mall -- in public in general.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Response from Dr. Aberg
Unfortunately we do not have a lot of data regarding menopause and HIV. There are some studies in development trying to evaluate interactions with hormone replacement therapy but otherwise not much else is in the literature. For the most part, menopause appears to be very similar to that in the general population who do not have HIV. There are wide variations in the amount of symptoms women experience.
You are rather young for menopause but there are some studies that do suggest that women with HIV may start earlier. Also menstrual irregularities are common among women with HIV. I suggest you see a gynecologist. Your doctor can check a hormone level to see if you are going through menopause or if there are other explanations for your irregular periods.
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