Q and A


Are my ARVs causing my liver damage?

On my last tests I got elevated :
*GGT (gamma glutamyl transferase) which was 116 (normal 8-78), and
*ALP (alkaline phosphatase) which was 155 (normal 38-126)

I live with HIV since mid 2012. I have been on nevirapine and truvada for about less than a year now. Before that I used to take nevirapine and combivir for about two years. Up till now everything seemed to be working fine, but these last results put me in distress. My doctor said I should get my liver checked, whatever checking means.

Thank you in advance.


Thanks for getting in touch.

When taking ARVs its import to have liver function tests done. These will be done when having other blood tests. Though ARVs can cause liver enzymes to increase, this is usually not to high levels. In some case though, people may need to change treatment.

Damage to the liver can also be caused by many other factors. Please see the following link:

The elevation that you have described, is though a minor elevation. Please see

Therefore its best to get tested as advised by your doctor.


  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Aleta,

    As Lisa says on this question above, there can be many reasons why liver test results show raised levels of liver enzymes or damage. So it’s a good idea to discuss this with your doctor. This can help find out the cause of increased liver enzymes. Please see the links Lisa has included.

    Here’s a guide to HIV and liver-related side effects.

  2. Aleta

    Hi my cd4 is 470 but now they is tha problem they told me my river is iffected l started my ARV 2017 dec now its 10months so lm,scred help coz l dont knw cause effect

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Fikile.

    If you’ve lost a lot of weight and you’ve issues with your liver you need to be seeing a doctor. They need to look at your CD4 count, viral load as well as investigate the liver issues. 30 kilo’s is a lot of weight for most people to loss, and needs to be addressed by a doctor.

  4. Fikile

    I started my arv in 2012 and everything was fine and i gain weight now i lost 30 kg’s and i have a jaunduce which lead me to go the hospital where i have been told that my liver is damages while the clinic is not doing any following to our healths anymore hwat can i do to help myself

  5. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Caroline,

    Do you have the results of your liver tests? Has your doctor talked to you about using a different type of ARV? Did they explain that due to you no longer being on meds your viral load will now have rebounded?

  6. Caroline

    My Dr stop me for tribuss due to jaundice I have with my liver. Is a two month now without arv with liver problem. My cd4 is 780 nd viral load undetected. What must I do. Is there any liver specialist I can attend to help my liver

  7. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Joseph,

    A CD4 of 520 is great. Do you know what your viral load is?

  8. Joseph

    My cd 4 is 520 and I started my meds February of this year

  9. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Joseph,

    What is your CD4 count and how long have you been on meds for?

    i-base advocates aren’t medical doctors, therefore this is something that you’ll need to discuss with your doctor.

  10. Joseph

    My doctor has instructed me to stop tribuss for now due to side effects for almost 3 weeks but still sick. Heps tests say I’m negative but urine still dark, clay coloured stools, liver enzymes still high about 800, at least decreased as they were 1000. What is wrong with me.


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