Chronic Fatigue and HIV+

Question

Dr. Bob: I was diagnosed with CFS for the past 5 years and have been HIV+ for the past 7. I am extemly fatigue, lots of chills and getting cold old the time. My T-cells are 550 with 0 viral load but feel horrible constatntly. Is it normal to have chills and feeling cold more than a normal person? My immune system was as low as in 280 range. Have you heard/seeing of CFS and HIV+ People? Prognosis? Thank you!

Answer

Hi,

Fatigue in the setting of HIV disease is incredibly common, but Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is not! I would suggest you read the archives of this forum to gain a better understanding of the common and not-so-common underlying causes of HIV-associated fatigue. Make a list of these potential underlying conditions and discuss them with your HIV specialist. Your complaints of chronic fatigue and feeling chilled would lead me to wonder if you are anemic or perhaps hypothyroid (low thyroid hormone levels). I would not settle for "feeling horrible constantly." If your HIV specialist can't help, get a second opinion to evaluate and address this problem, OK?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob