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Stress and The Workplace
Oct 3, 2002

I have been poz since Jan2002 and not as yet on medication but have been informed that I may soon have to as I do not have a spleen - Im 54 and feel fit and healthy but do have a high stress related job and have been advised by some friends also HIV+ that I should consider resigning as stress does take its toll on ones health and could hasten the progress of the virus(now 17000 and T cell 13 - 850) "Downunder"

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Down under,

Your HIV+ friends just want you to quit so they can have another playmate during the day to go to the beach, play cards, and gossip with. As it turns out, some stress is actually good for the immune system. Yes, excessive stress can be harmful. Talk to your HIV specialist. If you are feeling fit and healthy, and want to continue working, even in a stressful position, I see no reason why you should resign. If the stress or working conditions are excessive, your doctor may write a work excuse limiting your hours or recommending a less stressful position. The fact you do not have a spleen should not significantly alter when or how you take anti-HIV medications. Resigning from work voluntarily may also have a negative effect on your benefits compared to leaving work due to a medical disability (i.e. at the advice of your HIV specialist rather than your mates). So go have a vegemite sandwich or Fosters at the pub, and thank your mates for their concern, but I see no reason to follow their advice at this time. You might also want to get a second opinion from an HIV/AIDS specialist before starting meds, if your labs continue to show low viral loads and high CD4s. You may not need antivirals for quite some time.

Stay well and g'day mate.

Dr. Bob


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