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How often I see my doctor

Dec 28, 2008

Hello - I have two very important questions that I would like answered if you please can.

1) I had an HIV specialist that would make appointments to get my blood drawn and to see her every 3 months. I recently moved and have a new HIV Specialist. He advised me that he only orders labs every 6 months on patients who are under good control of their HIV. I know that it's only 3 months longer than I was used to, but I don't feel comfertable with this setup. I was wondering if I'm unnecessarily worrying and if their is a "standard". Should I find another physician? I'm undetectable and viral load is around 500.

2) On the flip side, my partner is going through the Ryan White program in Houston. His Viral Load is around 12,000 and t-cell is 170, 19%. (tcell has dropped from 200, 3 months ago). The doctor he is seeing keeps asking him to wait to start meds because according to the doctor, his percentage is still good. I'm not a doctor, but I do not agree. I think he needs to go on meds as soon as possible. I asked my partner to press the issue to get started on meds, which he did, but the clinic is moving terribly slow to get him approved. The social worker could not get the paperwork done in time, and asked the doctor if she needed to fund meds from the clinic until the drug assistance program kicks in. The doctor said no, that he could wait. My partner has been waiting 4 weeks and still has not received a solution to his med dillema. I'm getting concerned his health is going to deteriorate. What can I/we do and what is your perception on his state of health with the information I provided?

I know you are always slammed with emails, but I appreciate your consideration to answer this one.

Regards, -=-O-=-

Response from Dr. Holodniy

1. If you are clinically stable with those sorts of numbers, then it is not unreasonable to have visits only every 6 months.

2. I agree with you. By definition he has AIDS with a CD4 count < 200, although the percent is somewhat greater than 14%. But he needs treatment now.

Informed consent

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