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Long Term Survivor
May 27, 2006

I just read a letter from a newly infected patient about the long term prognosis for HIV infection. I have been living with HIV for 14 years (10 years in the category of AIDS). I am getting tired; tired of taking the meds, tired of the side effects, tired of feeling my body go farther and farther down hill. I am tired of being an outcast from both the hetero and homo societies. I'm not sure how much longer I want to survive. Do you see a end to this disease or does it just go on forever?

Response from Dr. Horwath

Your fatigue is understandable. It is difficult to maintain the resolve and determination to continue treatment over a long period of time. People with all types of chronic illness have this experience. It is true in people with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, hypertension. Treatment is especially difficult when you are not experiencing symptoms of HIV, but are experiencing side effects of the medication.

There is no easy answer to this problem, but people with a chronic illness often benefit from support groups that include others with similar illness experiences.



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