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how long to live?
May 9, 2000

My friend was diagnosed HIV+ 2 yrs. ago. He then developed KS, which is very prevalent. He had a short period of treatment -- doxil drip for 6 mos. & the cocktail. He quit meds because of side effects, went on a severe raw foods diet, and has lost 50 lbs. He is very weak, fatigued and dizzy. At almost 6', he weighs 108. He won't go to a regular medical doctor, I am losing my mind with worry -- he is still so strict about diet. What would your prognosis be?

Response from Dr. Fisher

Not very good. Remember that we have over 15 years of experience treating people with AIDS without adequate antiretroviral therapy. In those days essentially everybody with AIDS progressed and died. Certainly your friend's case seems ominous: KS (which means he has AIDS), unable/unwilling to take antiretrovirals (nobody has ever been cured with a "raw foods diet"), severe weight loss (in and of itself an ominous sign) and other symptoms.

Unfortunately you cannot force anyone to go on therapy that they refuse to take. But the longer he goes on without therapy the less likely he will respond to therapy if he changes his mind.

Try to keep working with him. Try to find an MD who will listen to his concerns and prescribe accordingly.

And good luck!

Alvan Fisher, M.D.

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