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I have been hiv positive for over 25 years. I am on hiv meds…

Customer Question
I have been hiv...

I have been hiv positive for over 25 years. I am on hiv meds but my cd4 count has stalled around 100. I have been fortunate that have not had any opportunistic illnesses or infections. A few weeks ago, Both of my elbows began to hurt. I also felt a shooting pain when I gripped something tightly or pinched my fingers together. Could this pain be hiv related?

Doctor's Assistant: What medications do you take daily? Are you allergic to any medications?

I'm not allergic to any medications that I am aware of I take Truvada and Evotaz...

Doctor's Assistant: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?

Also azythromycin weekly and Bactrim I don't think so ok

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Medical
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Answered in 1 hour by:
3/13/2018
Doctor: Dr. Muneeb Ali, Doctor replied 4 months ago
Dr. Muneeb Ali
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 9,886
Experience: MBBS, MD, MCCM. Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 10 year experience in Medicine
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Hi,
Welcome to JA and thanks for this question. I'm sorry to hear about your symptoms. I just came online to see that you have been waiting for some time so ill quickly answer this question for you. Actually, it is entirely possible that these symptoms are due to the HIV. There are conditions of the nerves which can develop with long-standing HIV, the first one which comes to mind is that you could have developed HIV related neuropathy. This is a condition in which the peripheral nerves are damaged because of the virus itself. This can lead to numbness, burning, tingling or even painful shooting pain in the affected limb. The diagnosis can be made with the help of simple tests like NCV/EMG test which looks directly at the nerves. The treatment is essentially to treat the underlying cause which is HIV in this case as well as countering the symptoms with medications like Lyrica or Neurontin.

At the same time, i would also look into other possibilities which are unrelated to the HIV, Nerve compression or entrapment can cause these symptoms as well. This can occur with time and it is possible that one of the three major nerves supplying your hand could be trapped either at the elbow or at the wrist. Again the NCV/EMG test would be diagnostic here. In this situation, steroid injections or even surgery to release the nerve would be beneficial. Lastly, i would also look at the cervical spine/neck which could be compressing the nerves leaving the area or the spinal cord itself could be compressed. A x-ray of the cervical spine would also be beneficial in reaching a diagnosis here. If necessary an MRI can also be done.

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