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My 26 year old son was diagnosed HIV positive last week. His referral appointment with an HIV doctor isn't until Monday- 12/21/09. He has been ill since around Thanksgiving Day.

Aside from feeling lightheaded and sometimes a nagging headache and upset stomach, he is feeling a little better.

My question is this, I'm giving him vitamins and antioxidants in pill form, but was wondering if giving him "Geritol Tonic with FERREX 18" would also be beneficial for him. It does contain the 100% recommended daily value of Iron @18 mg.

I'm concerned about it because I read somewhere to try avoiding vitamins with iron in HIV positive individuals.


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replied December 21st, 2009
HIV and AIDS Answer A8616
Hi,welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.

Your concern is regarding the supplementation of vitamins and iron in HIV positive individuals.

HIV positive individuals usually benefit from vitamin supplementation as they eat less and are actually having vitamin deficiencies. In some cases, the HIV virus itself can benefit directly from these deficiencies, increasing the rate of its production. That means it\'s critical to avoid these deficiencies.Vitamin deficiency can lead to neuropathy, fatigue, depression, anemia, and rashes.
Iron deficiency leads to anemia. Malabsorption can result as well. When present in excess, though, iron can work against you. When present in excess, iron can actually stimulate free radical formation. In one study, higher levels of iron were found in HIV-positive subjects than in HIV-negative subjects. Low levels of iron should be interpreted by your doctor in the context of other tests, before you supplement your intake.
Because of its potential for harm when oversupplied, and until we can better interpret its role in people with HIV, it might not be advisable supplementing iron on your own unless and until indicated by your clinical condition.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Note: This post is not to emphasise final diagnosis as the same cannot be made online and is aimed just to provide medical information and no treatment suggested above be taken without face to face consultation with health care professional.

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