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fatigue, symptoms, HIV therapy



  1. Grady, Christine
  2. Anderson, Robin
  3. Chase, Gary A.


Background: Although fatigue is an almost universal clinical complaint of people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, little has been done to study systematically the etiology, frequency, severity, response to, or management of HIV-related fatigue. In addition, HIV-related treatments may contribute to fatigue.


Objectives: To describe the extent and severity of perceived fatigue in a cohort of HIV-infected men (N=50) who, as participants in a randomized clinical trial, were randomized to receive or not to receive investigational interleukin-2 (IL-2).


Method: A modified Piper Fatigue Scale was used to measure fatigue at baseline, at the end of 5 days of IL-2 therapy, 1 week later at home, and 1 month later for three consecutive cycles of IL-2 therapy.


Results: Against a variable background of baseline fatigue in all subjects, those receiving IL-2 reported a significant increase in their level of fatigue after receiving IL-2. Fatigue levels remained elevated 1 week later but returned to baseline by 1 month. Fatigue was related to the dose of IL-2 but not to the reported amount or quality of sleep.


Conclusions: Against a background of fatigue related to HIV infection and its multiple manifestations and treatments, therapy with IL-2 dramatically increases the experience of fatigue. Although this increase is transient and tends to return to baseline by 1 month, during that month the patient's life function and quality may be severely affected.