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Anabolic Steroids help HIV people to gain muscle mass and weight
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July 14, 2009  |  Posted in  Steroids Blog

Anabolic Steroids help HIV people to gain muscle mass and weightAs per a new review, people with HIV (human immuno-deficiency syndrome) who are being treated with anabolic steroids in order to prevent AIDS wasting may experience modest gains in muscle mass and weight.

Lead author Karen Johns, a medical assessment officer from the agency Health Canada, remarked that the magnitude of weight gain observed during the review may be considered to be of clinical relevance.

From News-Medical.Net:

In the review studies, anabolic steroids were administered to patients either orally or by injection. The main side effects were mild and included abnormal liver function tests; acne; mild increase in body hair; breast tenderness; increased libido, aggressiveness and irritability; and mood swings — all common side effect of anabolic steroid use.

“The risks and side effects of taking anabolic steroids long-term are certainly of concern,” Johns said. “We were unable to assess these risks in our review due to the short duration of treatment in the studies.”

Wayne Dodge, M.D., the HIV/AIDS program director at the Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, suggests that clinicians should obtain blood testosterone levels, “if an HIV-infected individual has had significant weight loss, significant fatigue or muscle wasting, and particularly if associated with a significant decrease in libido and erections. If [testosterone] is in the low or low-normal range then a trial of [steroids] could be tried. The individual and the clinician should decide what result would constitute a successful trial: weight gain of 15 pounds, a 30 percent improvement in sense of well-being [or] a successful erection once a week.”

The reviews authors conclude that further studies are needed to determine if increase in weight leads to improved physical functioning and quality of life, and ultimately increased survival, as well as the potential for serious side effects, especially with prolonged use.

Wayne Dodge, M.D., the HIV/AIDS program director at the Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, suggested that the clinicians must first obtain blood testosterone levels if a HIV patient has reported weight loss or muscle wasting.

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