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Accepting living with the virus
Apr 1, 2012

Hello,

I was wondering if, in your mind, you just don't accept that you are going to die of the disease or how you deal with it. The cure research doesn't appear to be particularly forthcoming so I guess I am feeling disheartened. I saw another one of the doctors answer that the cure isn't going to happen for a very long time.

Thanks

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Thank you for writing. While there is always intriguing research concerning breakthroughs on the horizon, it's not really possible (as you note) to base any acceptance of living with the virus simply on hoping for a cure. There have been times over the course of my experience where we all were desperately waiting for the next drug to be released. Some of us were lucky, many others were not. The activism of AIDS patients changed that drug approval process for everyone, by the way, saving countless lives and benefitting the general population.

I try to focus not on my death or what will cause it, but on making the best use of today. Do I sometimes get angry or sad or fearful? Of course, but then I remind myself that I am still here right now and there are many things I want to acomplish. I have known people who spent time trying to calculate their life expectancy based on HIV, but then developed a totally-unrelated illness or had an automobile accident. I know others who ran up their charge cards, quit their jobs, used too many drugs and waited to die, and it didn't happen.

I have found that, for me, staying in the present to the greatest extent possible is key. When fear and doubt hijack my day, and they do, I pull myself back and focus on living my life as fully as possible.

Hope that helps,

-David



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