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Should I push my brother to take HIV meds?
Jun 10, 2001

Hi Dr. Dezube I received your e-mail regarding my brother and HIV meds. I discussed this with his Dr. and he doesn't want to HIV meds because my brother has continueous vomitting for 7-10 days following chemo. I took him to the hospital today for a transfusion because his hemoglobin was very low. He is so weak and they want to do chemo number 8 and then a ct scan on June 20/01 before they decide if they wil start hiv meds then. I am so afraid for him please help me to make the right decision regarding HIV meds. Should I push for him to start or not.They think it is better to wait but with his low CD4 <200 and high Viral Load > 1,000,000 I don't think it is safe for him to wait. Thanks concerned sister.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Dear Concerned Sister: Thank you for being so supportive of your brother. Athough it is almost always preferable for HIV-lymphoma patients to take HIV meds, if your brother is having such a tough time with vomiting, then he simply won't be able to keep the HIV meds down. Perhaps it is better if he waits. It sounds like he's approaching the end of his chemotherapy anyway. I do want to address your query "should I push?". In general I advise family members to be supportive, but not to push. It is much more important what your brother wants. You could potentially push him into a wrong decision, which could then back-fire. You did more than your share, by showing his oncologist my e-mail. GOOD LUCK.

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