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Living with HIV

Sep 2, 2007

Dear Dr. Horwath,

I'm 38 years old and + for less than 2 years now. I still live with the idea of dying relatively young. Now my doc tells me that it's not HIV but my urge to control everything in life which makes it hard for me to live life as I should. He states that given the current treatment care theres every reason to plan for the future and save money for retirement. Though life is uncertain itself he expects me to become an old potato. Is he 100% sure!? No he isnt. But he tells me to regard his opinion as a weather forecast, based on trends and results from the last 10 years he expects me to do well.

Now my questions: 1. Do you share his opinion? 2. And if so, do you recognise this control issue with your patients and what kind of good suggestions do you have for them?

Thank you

Response from Dr. Horwath

I agree 100% with your physician. You should follow his advice and live your life. None of us knows what lies in store for us. This is something that people with HIV infection share with those who are HIV negative. The current treatments often make it possible to live a very productive life for many years. Your best course is to live your life rather than put it on hold.

The desire to be in control is human. Some people have it more than others. Some people have such a strong desire to be in control of the uncertainties in life that they avoid becoming involved in life. This is a problem that requires some psychiatric help.

The fact that HIV infection can be fatal makes it an uncomfortable reminder that our lives are finite. This can be anxiety provoking, but it is important to remember that all of us are mortal.

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