Chronic pain common in HIV patients
THE HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, released new guidelines which call for all people living with HIV to be screened for chronic pain, using multidisciplinary nondrug treatment first.
Chronic pain affects an estimated 39-85% of people living with HIV with nearly half of the chronic pain being nerve pain. Clinicians said this was likely due to inflammation or injury to the peripheral nervous system caused by the infection.
The guideline suggests a variety of nonpharmacological therapies first, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, yoga, physical therapy and acupuncture among others.
The guidelines call for HIV clinicians to work with an interdisciplinary team to offer holistic treatment to patients who have tested positive.
Lead author of the guidelines, chief of medicine at Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center and associate clinical professor of medicine at Yale University Douglas Bruce, said: “Because HIV clinicians are typically not experts in pain management, they should work closely with others such as pain specialists, psychiatrists and physical therapists to help alleviate their patients’ pain.”
The guidelines recommend that all patients who test positive undergo a comprehensive evaluation which includes a physical exam, psychosocial evaluation and diagnostic testing.
“These guidelines provide the tools and resources HIV specialists need to treat these often complex patients, many of whom struggle with depression, substance use disorders and have other health conditions,” Bruce said.
The guidelines have been published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal. – 701478