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Would like to help a friend
Mar 2, 2001

Hello A good friend of mine was recently diagnosed with KS. He had the lesion growing/bleeding in his GI tract. From this he learned that he has "AIDS". Because of his recent surgery his CD4 count was 44 but his doctors predict that number to rise. He is very depressed over this recent find and in denial of his situation. What can I do to help him through this? And a question that I'm too afraid to ask him, how long does he have to live?

Response from Dr. Dezube

Dear supportive friend: Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) usually responds very nicely to chemotherapy. I would probably recommend that your friend start on chemotherapy as soon as possible. The chemotherapy typically goes well with most of the HIV drugs, which he may be taking. Given his internal lesions, I would recommend that he receive either a liposomal drug (Doxil or DaunoXome) or Taxol. If his white cells are low, then he may also need G-CSF, an agent which boosts white cells. He should also be on potent anti-viral therapy for his HIV. In terms of his prognosis, if he responds to anti-retroviral therapy (HIV drugs) and to chemotherapy, he may do quite well. I have many long-term survivors in my practice who were in rougher shape than your friend. In terms of what you can do to help him -- Nothing beats loving support. GOOD LUCK. BD.


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