CONTROLLING PAIN: Managing pain in a patient with HIV or AIDS

June 2005 
Volume 35  Number 6
Pages 28 - 28
  PDF Version Available!



    QUESTION: In my unit, we occasionally care for patients being treated for HIV or AIDS who are in pain. How can we ease their pain without creating drug interaction problems?

    ANSWER: Patients with HIV or AIDS may have pain related to their disease, their treatments, or coexisting health problems. Start by performing a complete pain assessment and medication history, including use of prescription drugs, over-the-counter products, and herbal supplements. Also take a history of substance abuse and assess risk factors for opioid misuse if appropriate.

    Many patients with HIV or AIDS experience nociceptive pain, which can be somatic or visceral. Somatic pain may be cutaneous, as with Kaposi's sarcoma or oral cavity lesions; visceral pain may result from hollow organ distension, as in pancreatitis, or from tumor expansion.

    In addition, many patients experience neuropathic pain. Peripheral neuropathy is a common ...

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