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Nov 3, 2004

Dear Doctor, I'm a 22 year old male from the Caribbean Island of Trinidad and Tobago. I found out I was HIV+ almost seven months ago. My first C4 count said I was at 399 then six months later my second C4 count amounted to 450. I'm not taking any form of medication. Actually what I want to ask is can I still look forward to a happy long life anymore? In my country not much is offered to educate people on HIV/AIDS and I don't even know the cost of treament or what treatment options are available to me. I know you must be pretty busy but any response or help would be heavily welcomed on my path. Thank you

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I have visited your lovely island of Trinidad/Tobago. Yes, there are HIV services available there, and I would encourage you to find out about them. Contact your local AIDS service organizations as a first step.

Can you look forward to a happy long life? Although none of us has an infallible crystal ball, what I can say is that with appropriate care, there is every reason to hope that those of us living with HIV will continue to do so for a very, very long time. I for one plan to die of old age. A friend just sent me this quote for the day "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ~ WOO HOO what a ride!" The message here is clearly to enjoy whatever life we have to the fullest.

Good luck. Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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