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Daughter and Stigma
Jul 2, 2007

My daoughter is HIV+ and has been for 15 years. She doesnt let anyone know due to the stigma. She does things that are risky for others to appear normal. She also does not let men she dates know because she is afraid they will walk. When she is sick or knows they may find out she will feign an illness go to the doctor and pretend she is just finding out and never knowingly exposed them. She does not take her meds right because she hides them from others. She is now resistant to many things. In the past 2 year she has become very ill and is addicted to vicodin. she has had PCP, percardititis, and now has disseminated MAC. Her cd4 count is down to 4 and VL over 1MM. She starts the meds at the hospital and they get her well enough to go home but she does not always continue the meds at home. She is bactrim, kaletra, zerit and truvada and something for TB (for her MAC). she also drinks, and smokes. She now weighs between 88 and 95 pounds depending on how sick she is at times. She truly believes the doctors will always be able to save her. WE are at a loss on how to help her or get her to be responsible with her life and others. Any suggestions.

Response from Dr. Horwath

Unfortunately, the decision to take proper care of herself needs to come from her. This pattern of irresponsible behavior will not have a simple solution. However, her decision not to disclose her staus to anyone suggests that she is frightened.

In addition, she appears not to understand her illness. She has the misconception that treatment can save her no matter how she acts. Of course, this is not true.



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