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Am I deluding myself??
Oct 25, 2006

Hi Dr Bob

I was diagnosed Hiv+ 3 months ago and my latest lab results are: CD4 count at 573 (27%) and viral load at 43000. My Doc has suggested it may be a few years before I start treatment. I am usually a very optimistic person (like you I gather!) and have been trying to come to terms with the diagnoses as best I can. I have been doing alot of research about hiv and developments in treatment and vaccines/cures. It seems to me that it is an exciting time in terms of novel ways in which scientists are looking at treatment and eradication of the disease. I know the media can 'hype' things up and there is still along road to go before we see better, drug free management of the disease or dare I say it, a cure! Please tell me I'm not deluding myself and am justified in believing that things will get better ... beginning to lose a little faith and need some reassurance!

Dave (UK) xx

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey UK-Dave,

I freely admit I may well be the most optimistic guy on the planet, but even if I was as dour, dire and depressed as a Republican on November 8th, I would still be optimistic about long-term survival with HIV, considering your situation (recent diagnosis, CD4 573, viral load 43,000). With the truly remarkable scientific advances in HIV care and currently available potent anti-HIV therapies, not to mention the new therapies working their way through the drug pipeline, I am confident your HIV infection should be controllable indefinitely. Yep, that means you should plan on dying from old age rather than HIV! (I certainly am!) Functionally, HIV is a treatable and, in most cases, manageable illness for those lucky enough to have access to competent HIV specialists and potent anti-HIV therapies.

Cure? Well, that's another story. Unfortunately I don't see one on the horizon. That doesn't mean I'm not hopeful. I certainly am. However, I'm also a realist. Additional resources energy, time, talent and funds will need to be expended to ultimately find the elusive cure. If only we could use the $6,300 per second that the Iraq war is costing us to find a cure for AIDS . . . . (Yes, current calculations indicate that's what Bush's blunder is costing us -- $6,300 per second, $380,000 minute, every minute!)

Stay tuned to this Web site and I will keep you apprised of promising new therapies and our quest for a cure, OK? In the meantime, let's make plans to be roomies at the old folks' home, OK?

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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