Q and A


Will my joint pain improve with treatment?

I’m HIV positive with a CD4 of 204 and undetectable VL my problem is I’m struggling with my joints now, I can’t even walk properly. It is paining. I’ve tried all the arthritis medications you can think of and it is not helping. This started before I took my ARVs and doctor told me the minute I start ARVs I will be much better. I’m taking tribuss.



Thank-you for your question.

Joint pain is common in people with HIV, and can have many causes. HIV can cause a variety of conditions which could cause joint pain. These include peripheral neuropathy, arthritis and various rheumatic problems. These are more common at lower CD4 counts. Could you tell me what your CD4 count was when you were diagnosed?

If your joint pain is related to HIV it may improve while on treatment. This will not be instant and may take some time. How long have you been on treatment?

If your pain doesn’t improve it’s important to get a diagnosis. If the joint pain needs separate treatment it is important to know the cause. Your doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist – a doctor who deals with joint problems.

Your doctor should be able to prescribe pain relief. Pain killers which reduce inflammation – like ibuprofen- may also help.


  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Regina,

    I’m sorry to hear you’re not well. But have you started ART yet? Is it because of a side effect of ART that you think you’re gonna fall? Some HIV meds can have a side effect that people say makes them feel dizzy. However, as you’ve posted on a Q&A about joint pain, is that why you can’t walk?

    Being on ART can have benefits to your health as well as controlling HIV. Please talk to your doctor about your symptoms and your HIV meds. You can ask to switch to meds that will be easier for you to take.

    Please let us know what meds you’re taking. And if you have access to your CD4 count and viral load, pease tell us those results too.

    If you live in South Africa you can contact the Treatment Action Campaign at this contact link for local support.

  2. Regina

    Hi some one help me please I have been positive from 2006..I was in denial till I felt very sick 2017…I was left on a wheelchair I couldn’t walk on my own..went to see a doctor who suggested I take ART IMMEDIATLY…now I can’t walk I feel like I’m gonna fall everytime m walking ..things gets worse when iam about to go to my periods…it’s hard please help me


Your email address will not be published.