Main Forums > Pre-HAART Long-Term Survivors

Iron issues


Not sure if this question belongs in the "long term survivor list" or "living with list" but I could really use some guidance.  Quickly and briefly:  I've been poz since 1994 (13 yrs this July).  When first diagnosed, my t-cells were at 200 and viral load was undetectable.  Since then the t-cells have fluctuated slightly (now they're 267) though my viral load remains undetectable.  Currently, I'm taking Norvir, Truvada, and Reyataz.

Besides my primary care (who isn't a great help with the HIV), I have a dear and close friend who is a physician who closed his practise and now works for a pharmaceutical company specializing in HIV/AIDS work and a hematologist whom I see every six months.  My friend has really been treating my HIV issues, even though he's no longer in private practise, and has really been monitoring levels, etc.

I started seeing the hematologist about three years ago when I became increasingly anemic and had to be transfused every three months and infused with iron every three months as well. Finally, he determined that my spleen was dysfunctuioning, ordered scans, and suggested I see a surgeon who, two yrs ago this week, removed my enlarged spleen. Since then my t-cells have improved as has the anemia.  Until today...

Today, I saw him for my every six month followup and my MCV are at 75.7 (they were 80.7 in January, 2007). He doesn't want to transfuse me (my hemoglobin is 10.6 and was 12.0 in January) but does want me to be infused with 2 gms of Iron.  He thinks that my hemoglobin is down because there isn't sufficient iron to boost the hemoglobin. Also, "there may be a slow leak" whatever the hell that means!

I'm feeling really crappy and incredibly depressed. I lost a close friend in April who was such a hero to me (he was poz for 23 yrs) and a bunch of work-related stress issues, family stuff, nad now this are really getting to me. etc. 

So, I am scheduled to have the infusion next Thursday (for five f......g hours!!) and just wondering if you think this is an HIV issue, med issue, or just one of those other things that will be cropping up from time to time.  Thanks, in advance for your help. Chris

Hey Chris,

I am certainly no doctor. But, I have not run across anyone, nor have I, had the problems you are describing unless their medication regimen was involved or they had problems with their spleen, which you said you have already had removed.

Had you been on AZT or an AZT-based combo, that might have been a place to start.

I have a feeling what is going on is something particular to you and not necessarily a result of HIV or its treatment.

A slow leak? Were I you, I think I'd find out what he was talking about.

I hope this works out for you.



I had a friend with HIV who had to have his spleen out.  The doctor told him that the spleen is like a filter and after that's gone, the liver takes over.  Not sure about your blood issues, but like Mark said, I think that it's probably not HIV related.  But I sure would find out why it keeps happening!  And fast!

Hello, I think the best thing to take for Iron is a vitamin by the name of Tandem Plus, it has 126mg. of Iron. It is prescribe by my Dr. I was diagnosed with Histoplamosis back in March 2007 and it made me Anemic. I also take an herbal pill by the name of "blood buildier" you can find it at Whole Foods Market. My dr. advice me to take both. I just had my blood work results and my Iron is getting better.

I hope this will help you.


[0] Message Index

Go to full version