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Author Topic: What Can I Do To Gain Weight  (Read 6886 times)

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Offline PiscesLove

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What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« on: February 08, 2013, 09:14:21 AM »
My cd4 keeps going up but my weight keeps going down & I'm not understanding. My meals mainly consist of fast food yet I've lost 20 more pounds within the last couple of months. I'm now back down to 115 in which I weighed in high school. Is there any type of medicine I can take to help? My Dr says my body mass is good for my height & age. I'm not trying to look sickly. Any suggestions
•1 Life 2 Live•

Offline leatherman

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 10:23:34 AM »
What HIV meds are you on now? Do you have issues with vomiting or diarrhea?

Why would you suggest another medication?  ;D Especially to gain weight. Pills don't fix everything.  ;)

Perhaps, especially with the big loss you're describing, if you start keeping a calendar monitoring your caloric intake, you (with your doctor's assistance) could figure out if there's a problem, as CD4s and weight are unrelated. Maybe there's an underlying gastric issue that needs to be addressed. Or maybe you're just not taking in enough calories.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline PiscesLove

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 11:18:31 AM »
I take Complera. I went from 145 to 115 in a matter of 3 months. My last doctor prescribed me Periactin. A steroid used to help cancer patients but  my new Doctor won't give me anything I was wondering if there was something over the counter that would help. Do you think those one a day women vitamins will help? Just tired of my family asking if I'm eating & I clearly am. This is the second time this has happened in my almost 2 years of being poz. Oh and no diahrea or vomit more constipation if anything
•1 Life 2 Live•

Offline OneTampa

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 08:58:56 PM »
Have you asked your doctor to check for Type II Diabetes?  Sometimes rapid weight loss signals the onset of diabetes.

There could also be other gatric issues as others have suggested.

You should again consult with your doctor.

Take care.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline texaninnyc87

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 01:33:54 AM »
what about doing it the old fashioned way? tons of milk shakes.
Dxd: 9/11/12
Blot confirmed: 11/12
12/12 cd4: 280 (20%) vl: 129,000
1/13 $tribild
2/13 cd4: 350 (26%) vl: 80
4/13 cd4: 510 (29%) vl:: 35
6/13cd4 350 (31%) vl: 21
9/13 cd4 492 (30%) vl: ud
12/13 cd4 846 (36%) vl: 100
1/14 cd4 480 (31%) vl: UD
3/14 cd4 650 (33%) vl: UD
6/14 cd4 410 (35%) vl: UD

Offline friskyguy

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 11:08:25 AM »
if you are not suffering from an identifiable illness affecting ur weight than try the simple following formula as mentioned in the above posts.......

Calories intake (eating) > Calories utilised (exercise and stress) = WEIGHT GAIN ;)

and get lots of sleep
Sero converted Sept '10 / Confirmed + Dec '10
Jan '11, VL 9,500 / CD4 482 (32%)
Feb '11, VL 5,800 / CD4 680 (37%)
start Atripla
Mch '11, VL UD / CD4 700 (42%)
Jun  '11, VL UD / CD4 750 (43%)
swap to Kivexa and Efav. due to osteopenia diag. (DEXA) / kidney issues ( decline in eGFR to 77 )
start supplements - Vit D3 / Omega 3 / multivitamin / mini aspirin
Dec '11,  VL UD <20 /  CD4 670 (49%)  / CD4:CD8 = 1.4
all labs now within normal ranges
Mch '12,  VL UD / CD4 600 (51%)
Sep '12,  VL UD / CD4 810 (51%)
Mch '13   VL UD / CD4 965 (56%)
Sep '13   VL UD / CD4 (not taken)
Dec '13   VL UD / CD4 901 (35%) / CD4:CD8 = 1.1  /  eGFR > 100

Online Jeff G

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 11:14:41 AM »
Your doctor probably has already checked but ask if you have been screened for hyperthyroidism .

Thyroid issues can work both ways when it comes to losing or gaining weight .

http://www.ehow.com/about_5382046_thyroid-weight-loss.html

Offline PiscesLove

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 06:39:58 PM »
Thanks everyone for the replies....Stress may just b the key factor. But I'm def trying the milkshake thing never heard of it, & def more calories. Thanks everyone I will let u kno how it goes.
•1 Life 2 Live•

Offline texaninnyc87

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 06:48:53 PM »
drink a milkshake with every meal. Use whipping cream instead of milk.
Dxd: 9/11/12
Blot confirmed: 11/12
12/12 cd4: 280 (20%) vl: 129,000
1/13 $tribild
2/13 cd4: 350 (26%) vl: 80
4/13 cd4: 510 (29%) vl:: 35
6/13cd4 350 (31%) vl: 21
9/13 cd4 492 (30%) vl: ud
12/13 cd4 846 (36%) vl: 100
1/14 cd4 480 (31%) vl: UD
3/14 cd4 650 (33%) vl: UD
6/14 cd4 410 (35%) vl: UD

Offline davidclark

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2013, 05:50:54 PM »
I have the same issues.

I have always had issues with weight and being slim even before. Although I'm eating well and exceeding 2500 calories a day, I'm still losing weight. And I agree it's not a good feeling when the first thing people comment on when they see you is how much weight you have lost
Wish there was an easy fit to gaining weight, but seems not

Online mecch

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2013, 07:33:51 PM »
I disagree with a fair amount of this casual advice of trying to stuff yourself with more calories.
It just seems to me that something is wrong with your system, and you need a doctor and perhaps a nutritionist to get some answers.
You are eating mostly fast food.  Fast food means to me, already a diet likely high in salt, and saturated fat..  So it seems like a BAD idea to try to gain weight by adding MORE SATURATED FAT (milk shakes!?) to your diet.  I would go for high quality proteins and high quality unsaturated fats - healthy oils, fatty fishes, if you must...
But it seems there is some sort of absorption problem. Or diabetes. Or thyroid.  People taking in enough calories, and it sounds like you are, shouldn't be dropping weight....   Adding yet MORE calories frankly does not seem the best route to a solution.  Unless a trained nutritionist recommends it.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Online Jeff G

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2013, 07:44:06 PM »
I couldn't agree more with mecch . I used to have a similar probelem and the advise I got was to just eat and eat and eat . I will save you the long lecture but this is clearly a medical question or a nutritionist question at the very least . I so very wish I had paid more attention to the kind of calories I put in my body , if I had I may not be injecting insulin 5 times a day and fighting the lipid battle .

I'm not making this about me , its a cautionary tale and the point is to get professional help with this ASAP .   

Offline wolfter

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2013, 08:14:01 PM »
weight can also be a psychological issue.  I'm no expert on the topic other than the obvious.
productivity breeds content

Offline skycee

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2013, 12:19:58 AM »
I was about starting a topic on this when I ran into this. I've always had a small frame  and even before diagnosis found it quite hard to put on weight as of may last year I weighed 72kg and now 6months after infection I've lost about 4kg. Looking into a mirror or seeing my shadow makes me cringe and last night I cried myself to sleep after looking at a pix of mine my girl friend recently took. She says I look great buh I can't remember the last time I saw myself this lean.

During my last visit to the doctor to confirm my numbers i told him my concern about the weight loss and he too agreed there might be an underlying factor since ideally I shouldn't be losing weight at this early stages of infection. Cd4 is over 600 and vl is 6702. He adviced I monitor and record my weight weekly and see if we can find anything. 

I rest very well, I think I eat well too and I don't exercise that much and I want my weight back.  :'(
Infected September's 2012
Seroconverted October 2012
Elisa test- indeterminate 20th November. 2012
Rapid test - Negative 23th November 2012
Elisa test - Positive 10th December 2012
CD4 - 546, 12th Dec 2012
CD4 600+, VL 6702 26th March 2013

Offline freaky_dream

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  • mmm
Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2013, 01:55:43 AM »
I am in the same boat however I have not dropped weight just want to gain it. I wonder if the basal metabolic rate for individuals with HIV is higher then non positive people. Has there ever been a study on this done? I would assume that we need extra calories to account for highly active immune system.

Your posts make you appear a bit apprehensive. Are you still eating the same as you did prior to your diagnosis?

Offline oksikoko

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2013, 01:48:08 AM »
I wonder if the basal metabolic rate for individuals with HIV is higher then non positive people. Has there ever been a study on this done? I would assume that we need extra calories to account for highly active immune system.

Heya, freaky. Yes. According to the linked WHO report from 2003:

"Energy requirements are likely to increase by 10% to maintain body weight and physical activity in asymptomatic HIV-infected adults…"

"During symptomatic HIV […] energy requirements increase by approximately 20% to 30% to maintain adult body weight."

Nutrient requirements for people living with HIV/AIDS (Links to PDF)
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

Offline freaky_dream

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2013, 05:20:12 AM »
Thanks Oksikoko, I went searching for something similar and could not locate a documented study.

Online mecch

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2013, 09:13:19 PM »
I was about starting a topic on this when I ran into this. I've always had a small frame  and even before diagnosis found it quite hard to put on weight as of may last year I weighed 72kg and now 6months after infection I've lost about 4kg. Looking into a mirror or seeing my shadow makes me cringe and last night I cried myself to sleep after looking at a pix of mine my girl friend recently took. She says I look great buh I can't remember the last time I saw myself this lean.

During my last visit to the doctor to confirm my numbers i told him my concern about the weight loss and he too agreed there might be an underlying factor since ideally I shouldn't be losing weight at this early stages of infection. Cd4 is over 600 and vl is 6702. He adviced I monitor and record my weight weekly and see if we can find anything. 

I rest very well, I think I eat well too and I don't exercise that much and I want my weight back.  :'(

You could start HAART....  I got whip thin my first my first months HIV, but then I had viral loads in the millions.  Still, active HIV infection with any VL could put a naturally thin person into the very skinny zone.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Reishi

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2013, 04:50:14 AM »
I have the same concern.  I've been thin as a rail my whole life, even when I was neg.  So I can't afford to lose any more weight.  I don't want to look like a prisoner in a concentration camp.  I've already lost like 10 pounds in 4 months, but hopefully the weight loss will taper off since I started ARV meds.

The problem with the milkshake method is all that sugar and milk protein isn't very good for your immune system.  Yeah, I talk a good talk, but I still eat a lot of ice cream, even though I know it isn't good for me.

Mecch had some good advice.  Eat more avocados and olive oil.  That's a great way to add more calories & healthy fats to your diet.  Dark chocolate has some saturated fat, but you also get the benefits of antioxidants, iron and magnesium.

I also agree that stress may be a factor.  Anxiety is sometimes more draining than running a marathon.  My lowest weight ever was when I worried sick over a dying relative.

Offline Reishi

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2013, 05:02:25 AM »
drink a milkshake with every meal. Use whipping cream instead of milk.

A few years ago, I was caring for an elderly relative who was suffering from muscle wasting.  I made her high calorie milkshakes every day to help maintain her weight.  I used gainer protein powder for body builder's and mixed it with half & half and a little bit of heavy cream.  Each shake was close to 1000 calories.

(In case anyone is curious, the protein powder I used was MRM All Natural Gainer.  The chocolate flavor is pretty good.  http://tinyurl.com/lyo3toq  )

Two products I don't recommend are Boost and Ensure.  They're poor quality garbage made with corn syrup.  Ensure is especially awful because it tastes metallic.  If you're going to do milkshakes, you're better off making your own.

Offline LukasFRA

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2013, 08:25:43 AM »
Even though the last post has been some time ago: when it comes to Complera / Eviplera (European brand name) make sure your doctor is involved when boosting protein intake. The two do not mix too well (same goes for steroids etc.). I have a similar problem on weight and discussed it in depth with my doc (who is very active in the European HIV research).

As already said by others weight loss or difficulty in gaining weight can have many reasons. Just eating junk food is not a solution. Quality food and moderate exercise could help, but do a cross check with your doc.





Offline witch

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2013, 10:16:15 AM »
I know a hiv poz who is on hiv drugs and undetectable for years. He is working out and told me he had hard time gaining body mass. That seems to be the case with most hiv poz people, either their gut absorption is impaired by the virus or the constant diarrhea leads to low absorption.

Anyways, he told me that the solution was MassGainer - the stuff that bodybuilders take. I'm currently taking some mass gainer and my body weight went up 2 pounds in 3 weeks for the first time in months. I also work out. The more calories the mass gainer is per dose, the better. Choose mass gainer that contains COMPLEX carbs that are absorbed slower and steadier, not simple carbs like glucose or corn syrup.

Offline Habersham

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2013, 10:19:25 AM »
Find a wealthy man to take you out to dinner a lot. Worked for me
Because I Can

Offline oksikoko

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2013, 02:38:04 PM »
Find a wealthy man to take you out to dinner a lot. Worked for me

I'm currently working on a less-than-wealthy one who likes to cook. End result is the same, though I don't want to gain weight what with anorexia heroinica being back in style.
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

Offline Habersham

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2013, 06:06:33 AM »
is he stuffing you full of creme brulee?
Because I Can

Online mecch

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2013, 01:39:39 PM »
That seems to be the case with most hiv poz people, either their gut absorption is impaired by the virus or the constant diarrhea leads to low absorption.

It seems that you are really interested in herbs, supplements, etc. Fine. I'm sorry, I know this is the second generalisation I've responded to.  Is is true "most" HIV+ people have impaired guts and/or diarrhea?


I know a fair amount of HIV+ people around my parts (Switzerland) and all systems are go...
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline oksikoko

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2013, 04:52:09 PM »
I know a fair amount of HIV+ people around my parts (Switzerland) and all systems are go...

My gut was the first thing to go. I expect my mind to be next.

This HIVInsite page says:

  • "Gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary disorders are among the most frequent complaints in patients with HIV disease."
  • "Before combination antiretroviral therapy, the best estimates suggested that 50 to 93% of all patients with HIV disease had marked GI symptoms during the course of their illness."
  • "Gastrointestinal (GI) manifestations of HIV disease include diarrhea, dysphagia and odynophagia, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, abdominal pain, anorectal disease, jaundice and hepatomegaly, GI bleeding, interactions of HIV and hepatotropic viruses, and GI tumors (Kaposi's sarcoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma)."

It doesn't seem to say what percentage on HAART have gastrointestinal symptoms, but at least misery loves company, and I know you're out there.

http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite?page=kb-04-01-11
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

Offline oksikoko

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2013, 04:54:12 PM »
is he stuffing you full of creme brulee?

He went as quickly as he came. I guess I jinxed it. ;) Of course, that guy he was schtupping this morning when I was out may have had something to do with it.
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

Offline Habersham

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2013, 06:22:11 PM »
why that little tarte tatin......
Because I Can

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2013, 06:30:13 PM »
I haven't had crème brûlée in eons. I should invest in some ramekins and a torch.

Right now I am craving Tres Leches cake.

"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Online mecch

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2013, 06:31:52 PM »

http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite?page=kb-04-01-11

June 1998

1998

Yes some HIV+ people have damaged guts and some people have diarrhea. 

Just bugs me when people give advice as if there is a "mostly" HIV+ Experience these days. (Not to be confused with the Jimi Hendrix Experience)  :o

I would say weight loss and weight gain, as well as gastro issues, and their relation to an HIV infection, OR NOT, is a very individual experience in 2013.

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline witch

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2013, 09:35:48 AM »
For your information mecch, I am able and was able to recognize HIV poz gays just by their emaciated body so if they do not take special care about their nutrition they DO seem to have absorption problem. That applies especially to people diagnosed with AIDS. Now if someone was diagnosed when his CD4% was 30-40 clearly the virus hasn't done its damage yet so they are not going to look emaciated but most people that had an AIDS phase DO!

When I was neg, I had to monitor very carefully my sugar intake or I would get flabby. This is no longer true nowadays when I'm poz - keeping my weight stable and low happens without any effort, no matter that often I eat high sugar foods. This is the first thing I noticed, even before getting diagnosed as poz, I was able to keep the pounds off way easier than before.

The hiv poz muscular guys are not emaciated because they ALL take mass gainers and most take steroids on top of that.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 09:40:53 AM by witch »

Offline wolfthorn

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Re: What Can I Do To Gain Weight
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2013, 01:23:34 PM »
If you aren't on HAART but are losing weight you are symptomatic. You should consider starting HAART. I had bad bowel issues until starting HAART, since the viremia has been controlled I've been regular and gained 15 lbs.
7/10/13: Oraquick at Home (+)
7/11/13: CD4 <20, VL 286,000
7/26/13: Start Stribild, Bactrim, Azithromycin
8/13/13: CD4 64, VL 1194
9/11/13: CD4 87, VL 511
10/14/13: CD4 164, VL 34
10/15/13: Stop Azithromycin!

 


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