Sudden Testosterone Drop EVEN with the gel

Question

I tested + in 1987. Have been healthy with good numbers. My viral load started to climb (from low thousands to 50,000) and T cells drop (from 500's to 300's). ALSO my testosterone levels dropped (in the last 4 monhts) from 700 to around 200. I have used the gel for about a year with good results. The question: Why did the gel stop working?

Answer

The real question isn't why the gel stopped working, but rather why did your HIV regimen stop working! Hopefully by now, you have had a resistance test, and with the help of your HIV specialist, started a new regimen. Right?

As for the testosterone question, there are several possibilities:

  1. lab error. Maybe your real level is still around 700. I'd repeat the test before worrying too much.
  2. Did you miss a dose of AndroGel the day before or day of your blood test?
  3. Your system has changed in some way so that the medicine isn't getting absorbed as well as before. Or you may just need more.

So the plan: Repeat your blood testosterone level after taking your dose very consistently for a few weeks. If it's low, have your HIV specialist check you over to see if anything else is going on that might account for the change. Most important, if you haven't already attended to the rising viral load and falling T-cell counts, that should be your number one priority. Testosterone supplementation is quite easy. Controlling HIV may not be, so focus there first. We'll make sure your Mo-jo continues to work well. I promise.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob