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untreated for 7 years
Jun 1, 2009

My daughter just shared with our family that she has known for 7 years that she was HIV positive. Her t-cell count is 33 and she has only been on the meds for 5 days. she says she is not in pain but she has the thrash in her mouth and in 2monthsgone down to all but skin and bones. She has nothing left in back except her tail bone. How likely is she to get better with taking her meds regularly since they are not sayling that she has any thing like pnumonia.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

It's certainly sad that your daughter has known about her infection for seven years but only started treatment five days ago when her counts had fallen to dangerously low levels and she had become symptomatic (thrush and severe wasting). Equally sad is that she has not shared the news of her condition with you prior to now. She obviously could have used family support for quite some time.

Regarding prognosis, your daughter has advanced-stage symptomatic AIDS. Can her condition improve? Yes, it's possible. If she tolerates her medications and adheres to her medication regimen, it is possible she may improve significantly. However, at this point she is extremely susceptible to a wide variety of opportunistic infections and malignances. Consequently her prognosis is guarded at best.

My advice is to support your daughter in whatever way you can emotionally, financially, etc. Be nonjudgmental about her AIDS diagnosis or decisions not to begin treatment earlier (even though I agree this was a major error in judgment!). In short love and help her any way you can. If she doesn't already know about this Web site, suggest she check it out. There is a wealth of information here that could be of benefit to her (and you). Begin with information under the heading "The Basics" that can be found on The Body's homepage

Good luck to you and your daughter. Please give her a hug from me.

Dr. Bob


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