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HIV Subtype
Mar 11, 2006

Dear Doc,

I tested Poz. In Oct. and have been struggling to stay mentally focused. I am waiting on my Geno Type test to return. So far my lab numbers look good and I have one of the best HIV docs in the Country. Dr. DeJesus often consults on this web site. However, I constantly find myself obsessing about HIV and search the Internet to the point of nausea. I have access to good heath care and obviously wonderful medical personal. Today, I found that the HIV Subtype makes a large difference on how well you will respond to Meds when that time comes. It specifically said that Subtype D is more virulent and caused death very rapidly. Please help me sort this scary information out. How often do you see Subtype D in the US and more particularly Orlando, FL? God, do you think I can live into my 70s (Im 39/M now) without other co-infection like Hep and Im a non smoker. Again, Im in desperate need of some Chicken Soup For the HIV soul. My boyfriend says I need to stay the hell away from the Internet. HELP!

Response from Dr. Wohl

Your boyfriend is right. Too much information in your case is leading to overload and confusion. You have a doctor who you can rely on to filter the massive amount of info out there into a cogent message tailored to your needs. You need to listen to his advice and hear what he says about your prognosis and what you need to do to live to be old and gray.

When you have a specific question, rather than a general uneasiness, the internet can be very useful. Your doc prescribes a new med, you can look it up. Wondering about a side effect you are experiencing, where to find a support group, what shots to take before a trip? The internet is there for you. Vague anxieties are only fed by what google serves you.

Don't worry about weird oddities, getting hit by lightening or a comet hitting the Earth. Instead focus on the reality of your situation, your numbers and what your doctor (a true expert) advises.

DW



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