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Concerned friend
Jun 29, 2014

Morning Doctor,

I have a friend who was diagnosed with HIV in 2009, she was very ill - nearly lost her. She took her medication and got better in time. My concern is that she stopped taking her medication and it's been two years now and now she has the flu. It's been weeks now with coughing and she doesn't want to see the DR.

I am afraid she might get very ill again and this time I lose her for she is so stubborn and don't take life very seriously. How can I convince her to go for check up ?

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Hello,

Thank you for writing and for being a good friend. It can be both frustrating and emotionally painful to watch someone you care about stop taking care of themselves. You can't force treatment on anyone but you can encourage them to get support. Not taking HIV medications will have inevitable results and two years is a seriously long time. As you know, she clearly needs a medical evaluation. In many cases such resistance is due to depression or other unexpressed emotional concerns which are affecting decision-making. Make it clear to your friend that you support her and want what is best for her. Strongly encourage her to speak about what is bothering her to you or someone else. Let her know you hear her concerns and that you understand how she could feel that way.

Here is a link to a page on TheBody that will be useful for you.

Good luck to you and your friend,

David



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