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Recent PCP/ How long can I last?
Jun 28, 2001

Dear Dr. Feinberg, I have been HIV positive for the last 13 yrs., I recently lost my job and insurance, and even though I felt like something was happening, I didn't go to the doctor. I was recently admitted to the hospital twice for PCP, the second time because side effect to Bactrim. I have recently signed up with a clinic to be treated until I get back on my feet. I am currently taking Mephon for the PCP. My CD4 is 2 and my viral load is 86000, they said it would be a month before I could see a doctor and start on a HAART treatment. Is that too long, what about cancer? At this low count... shouldn't there be an urgentcy? Thank you for your advice. Scared.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

I agree with you that your situation has some urgency to it. I recommend that you contact the clinic and lean on them a bit (remember that the squeaky wheel gets the grease), or see if there is another alternative for HIV care in your area. The issue isn't just a risk for cancer, but that while you are waiting for your T cells to improve from HIV therapy you might develop another OI. Please get the clinic to give you a prescription for preventing MAC as soon as possible; this can be done with a once a week dose of azithromycin or a twice a day dose of clarithromycin. Good luck!

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