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pcp pnemonia AIDS
Feb 23, 2012

My Partner has been in bed the past 2 weeks and has developed thrush all over his mouth and tongue and he is refusing treatment and going to the hospital. I belive he may have PCP Pnemonia. My question is how much longer will he live if he keeps refusing treatment? His CD4 count was 30 and that was 2 months ago.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

Sorry to hear about your partner. With a CD4 count of only 30, his immune system is perilously weak. Pneumonia in persons like this can be devastating, PCP is one of the more common (but by no means only) cause of pneumonia in persons with AIDS.

It's difficult to predict how long one has to live, but in the pre-treatment era, nearly 1/3 of persons with CD4s less than 100 died every year. In your partners situation, without medical care, I have very significant concerns that he could be in serious trouble.

Though you haven't mentioned his previous medical situation or if he has been on HIV medications in the past, currently available treatments have been able to restore health to the vast majority of patients in our center, including those with very advanced disease and opportunistic infections. I'd certainly try to better understand why he does not want treatment.

If he's of sound mind and understands the consequences of not going on HIV treatments, then a discussion with his doctor about palliative care or home hospice could be in order. Just because one does not seek "curative" treatments does not mean that the medical community doesn't have very significant things to offer to alleviate pain or suffering.

I hope that's helpful. Please write back if you have any other questions. BY

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