For Him Production of certain hormones naturally declines as people age. In men, falling testosterone can cause fatigue, depression and decreased sex drive—a big problem if HIV meds are already making you tired and depressed. On the flip side, healthy levels of “T” may help reduce lipodystrophy fat accumulation as well as build muscle (though studies are mixed). If your testosterone level is too low, supplements are available as injections, patches or gels. But while getting back up to normal is a good thing, boosting beyond this level doesn’t add to the benefits and can actually be harmful, increasing the risk for heart disease and liver problems.
For Her Studies disagree about whether HIV positive women have earlier menopause or worse symptoms. Doctors no longer recommend routine hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and heart disease after menopause—large studies showed it did more harm than good overall. But depending on individual risk factors, it still may be the right choice for some women with bothersome symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia or mood swings. One clinic dedicated to menopausal women with HIV decides about HRT on a case-by-case basis. Some women swear by herbal remedies like black cohosh or evening primrose, and calcium and vitamin D can help with bone loss.