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why so long
May 28, 2008

Hey, my son was diagnosed HIV + in November 2007. he is 19 years old. I have taken him to the Clinic here in B'ham, and he has gotten the initial blood test..and the test to see if he would be resistant to the initial meds they want to put him on..his CD4 count is only 217 and the test was completed over a month ago, the first time he went back to the clinic he was told that his blood had somehow gotten mixed up, by the next scheduled appointment, he was told there is still research being done on his blood because the doctors do not want to give him something that would harm him. my question is why does this or rather does it usually take so long. and what is happing with his CD4 counts, is he getting worse? he complains of achey joints, he cant sleep, his skin on his finger tips are peeling, I just don't know what to do to help him. should I start him on some vitamins and suppliment to assist him? what about herbs, and which one are safe for him. I feel that I'm just sitting back and letting him fade away. and what about support groups for parents and hiv+people where do I go to get help? is he dying right now, what? what? I just don't know.

Response from Dr. Wohl

Is B'ham Birmingham, AL? If so, there is a major HIV center at the University of Alabama where your son can be seen and where you can get info on support services for him and yourself.

You do need to advocate for yourself. Mix-ups happen but there is no excuse for delaying treatment for someone with a CD4 cell count of 217. It may be they are waiting on a resistance test and that this is taking longer than expected. If the delay persists, you can go to the clinic and be respectful but persistent. Ask to speak with the clinic director if necessary. Talk to a local AIDS Service Organization about resources you can use.

DW



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