Metabolic complications may not be the most dangerous, or even the most common, type of side effect that HIV-positive people experience. But they are among the most frightening for many people. In the case of body shape changes, they can affect how you look and feel about yourself and, in the case of high cholesterol/triglycerides, they can affect your heart.
Although much is still unknown about metabolic complications, there are clearly ways to avoid at least some of them. We hope this booklet has helped you better understand how metabolic complications happen and what you can do about them if they happen to you.
Of course, don't let that be the end of the story. There are a million people in the United States living with HIV -- many of whom, whether on meds or not, are worried about metabolic complications. You and your doctor should work together, as a team, to figure out how to balance your concerns about metabolic complications with your other health needs.
One thing to always keep in mind: You are NOT alone. There are a million people in the United States living with HIV -- many of whom, whether on meds or not, are worried about metabolic complications. Connect with others who are dealing with metabolic complications by signing up for e-mail lists and browsing reputable Web sites. AIDS organizations across the country also provide educational workshops on HIV medications and dealing with side effects. How you do it isn't important; what matters is that you stay informed and connect with others.
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