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don't you ever go nuts. waiting for some improvement!
Feb 2, 2004

Dr. Bob,

Sorry to vent. I'm so happy and proud of all the efforts you do living with Aids. It just however makes me want to scream when the drug companies put out these crap compounds that just fail over time, don't work, or just don't seem to get much better! We got zerit and we lost our face. We got crixivan and we all became Fat Albert. We got Azt and we became Captain Anemic. We got liver failure with Hivid and hypersentive reaction with Ziagen. Now, even with atazanavir we become looking like alien freaks! I hate the stereotype! I hate the condition, and I'm sick of the fact new drugs don't come out to fix this. I want my old normal life back! I don't think I will ever get it! Please do tell me where we do go from here (this Earth) is a much better place where none of this will matter! And please do give me some good news that our children won't have to deal with all this "shit" drugs that we do! I'm sorry for my vulgarity! But I'm positive you of all people can agree and understand! Keep fighting!

Henry

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Henry,

No apologies needed for venting (or even ranting and raving) against HIV, especially when directed at appropriate concerns and done with style. (I like "Fat Albert" and "Captain Anemia.") Paul Rudnick once said, "Only money, rage, and science can conquer AIDS. But only laughter can make the nightmare bearable."

Developing drugs to effectively combat HIV has proven to be extremely challenging. When the virus found me in 1991, there were only three drugs available. Now, there are about 20. Progress has indeed been made, particularly with the introduction of newer, more potent drugs that came into use in mid-1996. We can't lose sight of the fact that there has been a dramatic decline in HIV/AIDS mortality and morbidity since then. That said, there is no doubt we have a long way to go. HIV drug toxicities and side effects, both short- and long-term, are clearly unacceptable, and we have yet to cure a single person of this scourge. Unfortunately, fear, denial, misinformation, and apathy have colluded to make HIV/AIDS seem like a distant problem, when in reality it remains a clear and present danger. How our society could be distracted from the current suffering of over 45 million people worldwide infected with the virus and not realize the magnitude of the ubiquitous threat posed by HIV a disease that could claim the lives of one fourth of the world's population remains a mystery to me.

Henry, as far as where we go from here (Earth), I have absolutely no guess whatsoever. I'm just hoping it's not Crawford, Texas. I guess we (HIV-positive or negative) will find out in due time. Until then, don't give up on what our current world has to offer! Wonders and opportunities abound! I won't wish away one nanosecond of my time.

Regarding HIV, use your rage, your time, your talent, your influence, and your resources to make a difference! And it is O.K. to laugh along the way to make the journey bearable. Let's keep fighting together, shall we?

Dr. Bob


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