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aids what next
Nov 2, 2005

my brother in law has aids,he waited until it was full blown to seek medical help. Now he is wasting away,has a constant cough,has trouble walking and stays tired and hungry. He still will not admit he has aids,denial is his middle name,what can we do as a family for him?

Response from Dr. Horwath

Although he delayed starting, the treatment can still be very effective. The symptoms that he has now can be treated, but it may take some time (months) for his immune system to recover.

The best approach for the family is to be supportive to him during his recovery. Denial can be caused by fear, guilt, shame or lack of knowledge. The fear and lack of knowledge can be addressed by educating yourselves and him about the course of HIV and the effectiveness of current treatments. Knowing that treatment is effective can help to reduce fear, increase hope, and help a person to acknowledge their illness.

He may also feel guilt and shame about having HIV infection. You can help him with this by being supportive, non-judgmental, and letting him know that the family still loves and cares for him. If he's willing, he may also benefit from some counseling or therapy to help him to get past whatever it is that is preventing him from acknowledging his illness.



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