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HIV and AIDS

How Can I Utilize A Port To Take My Medication?

12/12/2002

Question:

What is the possibility of having a port put in place so that I can get antiviral meds via IV fluids? The meds tear the heck out of my stomach so I want to find some way to get medications on board without it going through my stomach.

Answer:

A port gives permanent access to the blood stream and is used when medications cannot be given otherwise. Because there is permanent access to the blood stream, there is a constant risk of infection of the port and the blood stream, which is a very serious complication. Therefore, the risk is too high to use it just for convenience. Most antiviral medications are not available in a form that can be given intravenously. This is true of all of the HIV/AIDS medicines except AZT.

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Response by:

Peter T Frame, MD Peter T Frame, MD
Emeritus Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati