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Choosing Your MedsChoosing Your Meds
          
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Some Good news about Meds
Apr 11, 2004

Dear Guys, As a student of medicine I came across your site during research into diseases- what astounded me the most is the fact that even aftr the introduction of these medicines people are still dying of AIDS in America- but upon further investigation I found that most of those people (and this is written with best intentions) had for mental health or socio economic reasons not had access to medicines or been unable to maintain correct intakes of medicines- whilst those with access are as you have coined "looking at a normal life span" I put these to my professor at med school and he agreed- but went a step further to saying due to the strenghth of the existing meds and developments to tailor them and new classes of drugs to fit peoples lives we are looking (developed world) at the condition being made as a chronic disease not a death related one.... I was just wondering your thoughts on this and where we stand a few decades into the epidemic on survivability and quality of life?

You guys are really doing so many people a world of good- it inspires me to do all I can in this fields...

Thanks.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your thoughtful post.

I agree with your professor-- investment in newer medications have changed HIV into a long-term, treatable illness for those persons who have access to care and medications.

The future prognosis is guarded-- even in the US,there is considerable challenges to access to care and the costs of medications. In my state of Colorado, we have 1% of the US HIV+ population, but ~280 of the ~800 persons on the wait list for life-saving antiretroviral medications. The cost increases of antiretroviral medications are also a significant issue-- Abbott Laboratory's ~400% increase in the price of ritonavir (Norvir) is symptomatic of a very serious challenge (see studentAIDSwatch.org for more information).

With continued attention to these issues, I believe strongly that we will be able to ensure access to care, not just in the US, but improved access across the world. Then, and only then, can we really talk about equal access to care and hope.

Thanks for reading. BY



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