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Tired and want to die.
Jan 29, 2004

please help me make my lover understand I have no fight left in this fight.I am in a gay relationship of 20 years. I have beenpoz since 99 and unfortunately developed full blown AIDS right away - wasting, meningitis... I have been through almost every combination of meds and have endured terrible toxicity with Ziagen and Sustiva in particular. I currently have severe myopathy, neuropathy and fatigue. the fatigue is being treated with procrit and I am taking a drug holiday in hopes of fixing the myopathy and neuropathy.These have been very painful. I am on disability and dont do much I for the first ime feel intuitively that this is my last year even though my VL is <50, ad cd4 are 700's. I am so tired I can't stand it anymore- I can not imagine going back on meds Here is my question how do I tell my lover I want to give up, that quality life is no longer there and ultimatley I want to end my life before HIV does. I love him very much and I don't want to hurt him I am not rejecting him with my action, but rather a poor quality existance. Please help me. By the way I do go to individual, and group HIV counseling and have brought this up there but all of my group is longterm nonprogressors and I scare them and bring the reality of the illness side of HIV. Please help me, I am Tired.

PS I also do go to one the best HIV specialist's in the country- He doesn't agree this will be my last year but tells me to honor my feelings

Response from Dr. Horwath

I understand that you have experienced great suffering. Nobody wants to undergo further suffering if they can avoid it. Your feelings are understandable.

In your case, you have an undetectable viral load and a healthy number of CD4 T cells. Your prognosis is good based upon these numbers.

However, you mention wanting to end your life before HIV does. In my experience, this is a symptom of depression, which can be treated. If a person feels hopeless and wants to die, these are often key symptoms of depression, and proper treatment will result in profound change of heart. Appropriate treatment brings about a return of hope, a desire to live, and a motivation to seek appropriate medical treatment.

As for your quality of life, the peripheral neuropathy is also treatable. One of the more common symptoms of depression is that it aggravates pain. During an episode of major depression, the sensation of pain is greatly heightened. Treatment of depression is also effective in improving pain and restoring a better quality of life.

I advise getting a referral to a good psychiatrist. The treatment of depression is extremely effective and safe nowadays. With treatment and the alleviation of your depression, you may feel more hopeful about having a life with some satisfaction and pleasure, and less pain.



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