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Horrifying, but could this be true?
Jan 9, 2001

Hello! And I thank you in advance for having such a well needed website. It's good to know that we can come here to ask you such a variety of questions. Here goes. I have a really serious and life threatening lung ailment (COPD). I may be just getting paranoid, but I have good reason to be.

HIV drugs have and are being withheld from me. And my condition is servere. I'm beginning to feel that I might not be being put on any HIV meds, because the condition that I already have is going to take my life in due time, so the HIV drugs need not be given, because they probably would just add more undesirable side effects, and therefore worsening my already fragile condition. As far as going to another doctor, I can't do that on my own. I would have to have the appropriate help, because I could just as well wind up with a worse predicament. I haven't the energy (or should I say oxygen) to really do it alone. The odd thing about this is that I know that my doc is a really good one (overloaded though). Sometimes I'm beginning to feel that I can be one of those people who will just fall through the cracks because no one else is listening to what I'm trying to say. Would you honestly admit if things like this do happen (weighing one's life expectancy with rather administer HIV meds unnecessarily). I know it sounds bad, but things can happen, especially if one hasn't a lot of supportiveness.

Sorry for asking such a serious question, but it's beginning to affect me mentally.

Thank you so much.

Signed,,,Afraid

Response from Dr. Feinberg

I don't think you are being paranoid. Doctors do sometimes avoid treating a second chronic problem if it is under reasonable control if the first problem is more immediately life-threatening. This may or may not be the case in your situation -- I have no way to know. But if switching doctors isn't possible, perhaps bringing your fears out into the open in a sincere but non-confrontational way will get to the answer. You could simply ask your doctor if s/he is avoiding therapy for HIV because your COPD is so severe and your HIV is not at this time.

I urge you to find some support so that you can deal with the issues your illnesses raise. Look into whatever may be available through local HIV/AIDS support organizations, or find out what services are available from the local health department (or where they could refer you). Good luck!


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