Will My Peripheral Neuropathy ever go away?

Question

I have had HIV since 1984, AIDS since 1998, and peripheral neuropathy since 1986. My viral load is near undetectable. My pain is still bad and I am on Meds for it. Two doctors feels that since I am nearly undetectable I should be have no pain now. Well, tell that to my fingers and feet.

Answer

Recovery from HIV or HIV-drug related peripheral neuropathy often but now always will occur when switched to an effective regimen with lower risk for peripheral neuropathy. In my experience some patients have persistent peripheral neuropathy despite good HIV control and use of drugs with less risk for that problem. I have a handful of patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy despite our best efforts and receive mostly symptomatic interventions-a very frustrating situation. Efforts to develop more novel treatments (such as nerve growth factors) have been disappointing but studies/research continues. I often seek help from a neurologist experienced with HIV and a pain specialist to try and find best management strategy. KH