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recently hiv+
Apr 27, 2008

my best friend is hiv+. he is 23 and he thinks he is going to die and he has no hope for his life, he doesn't want to do anything anymore... what can I do

Response from Dr. Horwath

Your friend needs to get a medical evaluation to assess his general health and immune system. A simple blood test, measuring his T cells (CD4 cells) will give important information about his immune status and whether he may need treatment.

If he does need treatment now, he should find a physician with experience in treating HIV/AIDS. The treatment is highly effective, but requires consistent adherence with treatment in order to succeed.

Your friend's resignation may be due to not understanding that there is effective treatment for HIV infection. On the other hand, his hopelessness may be due to depression, in which case you can help him by getting him to a good psychiatrist or psychologist to evaluate him a recommend treatment. Depression also has highly effective treatments now.

People sometimes make the mistake of thinking that losing hope is a "natural" outcome of having HIV because it is a serious, life threatening infection. It is a serious infection, but most people are able to cope with it and lead productive and positive lives in spite of HIV infection. It is important to maintain hope and there are good reasons to remain hopeful.



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