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Need Clarification on HIV Fatigue

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OK.  So my uncle is on the downtrend again.  He is falling asleep 8-10 times a day just sitting in his chair.  It even happens in the middle of a conversation.  Is this HIV fatigue?  I NEVER remember him doing this in the past.  I remember him being tired, but not nodding off.  I mention this because last time this was happening it was his kidneys giving out.  When I ask him if everything is OK, he says he is fine.  When I took him to the emergency room, slumped over, unable to move, drooling on himself, and wetting his pants, he said he was fine to the dr. 

So I think he is scared to go back to the hospital.  I really don't know what to do.  Is this his way of saying he doesn't want to go on without saying it?  If he did say that to me, I would have no idea how to react.  He is constantly drinking soda, probably 10-12 cans a day.  Won't drink water. 

The last time we were at the hospital they said it was the viread giving him kidney issues so they took him and switched to invirase.  He saw improvement for a few days, but appears to be heading back downhill.  I am starting to think that maybe it was not the viread causing the kidney troubles and just the kidneys on their own causing trouble.  Then again, I am no dr.

So, basically, what does HIV fatigue 'look' like?

Thanks so much,

Hi M,
It may very well be possible that he has lost his will to go on, or there may be a real medical reason for his dozing. The one thing I do know for sure is that all of those sodas are not providing him any reasonable amount of hydration. Most all of them contain caffeine to some degree or another, and caffeine acts as a diuretic. he needs to be drinking water, but you may hard pressed to convince him of this.
Encourage him to drink at least a glass of water for every can of soda. He should probably be seen by the doc too.
I will keep you in my thoughts today, and I wish you well in caring for him.
Let us know how things are going.
{{{{hugs}}}} for you.

Hi M,
I can tell you how I feel with the hiv fatigue. It is a horribly overwhelming sense of exhaustion. I feel shaky, my head feels a little light headed, and sometimes my stomach becomes upset- gassy, diarrhea. If I have had a busy day, it usually takes 3-4 days of rest before I can fully recover from the busy day. By rest, I mean waking up, showering, then sitting on the couch all day, then doing the same thing the next day.

I sometimes will take a nap in the afternoon, but it is pretty rare. I usually feel more tired if I nap.

My opinion, if your Uncle's behavior has changed in the past few weeks from what was normal for him, I would say he should see the doctor. There are a few things that can cause fatigue- the meds, the virus itself, untreated infection, depression, lack of proper nutrition.


Lisa, Christine,

Thanks for the info.  I have tried everything short of dunking him in water to get him to drink water...but not onlly does he refuse, he lies to me about what he eats and drinks.  If I didn't hire the 24 hour care taker, I would be completly in the dark!

He seems to have all the 'classic' HIV fatigue symptoms, but the dozing off in the middle of a conversation seems above and beyond.  We got him a doctors appt. for today so I will know more.  The problem is that I cannot go with him to the doctor and when he sees the physician he will tell the dr. he is "fine" so he can avoid going to the hospital...

But, as always, I will keep you up to date.


water is a must,is he on meds that may be causing this problem?i have had the same things happening to me but not to that degree.i have been told that depression is a main problem with having hiv and depression at the same time and this will happen.and with the meds it can be possible they are the cause of mood and other issues,keep on trying dont give up,hope it works out ok for the both of you,take care


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