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What treatments are available?
Nov 18, 1999

I have AIDS and I wanted to know what kinds of treatments are available. What will ease the pain and is there a cure?

Response from Dr. Pavia

It sounds like you are just facing this illness for the first time. The place to start is to understand two things, then begin to learn the details.

First, treatment is available and is tremendously helpful. Newer treatments can control the disease for many, many years, help your immune system recover some or most of its strength, and keep you alive, hopefully until there is a cure or an easy long term treatment. Pain is usually not a long term problem and usually can be treated effectively.

Second, there is no cure. Treatment, at least right now, means taking complicated combinations of medicines, every day, every dose, on time. It requires a LOT of dedication and hardwork on your part. All medicines have side effects, and AIDS medicines certainly do. You need a partnership with a doctor, or other provider, who really knows AIDS and who you can work with.

But third, there is an incredible amount of information out there, and you need to learn about your disease and how to take care of it. If you have internet access, start with some of the better sites (like this one) and follow the links to other sites. If not, go to your local AIDS service organization and talk, read, and use their library. Even if it seems that the organization is not folks of the your race, gender, orientation etc, it is a good place to start and they can point you at communities you can feel at home in. Surviving AIDS means taking charge and getting down to it. Good luck

ATP


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