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It's my baby brother

May 3, 2005

I found out yesterday that my brother is HIV positive. He started a treatment with tricivir. He has known he's positive for 3 months now and I'm the only person he has told. He's a little depressed now, you would imagine and he is away from me (he is in Europe), so all the help I can give, if any, is by e-mail. I'm pretty shocked myself, but I want to be as supporting as I can be and I'm not sure how. I've been trying to be optimistic, saying "let's take it one day at the time" and that kind of stuff, but I don't want him to think that I'm not giving it the importance it has. What should I do?, how can I help him?

Response from Dr. Horwath

You and your brother have good reason to be optimistic. If he is otherwise healthy and has started on HAART, then he has an excellent chance of doing well for many years to come.

You should probably advise him to get a second opinion on the antiretroviral regimen that he is taking. For some people, Tizivir alone is not an optimum regimen. Have him consult someone with extensive experience in treating HIV infection to see if the treatment he's taking is the best abailable option for him.

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