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How to deal with a future?
Dec 12, 1997

Dear Michael: How does one deal with a future with HIV? Since being diagnosed 2 years ago,

I have had problems dealing with a future in which I am unsure as to whether I will live 10

or 20 or 40 years.

I had dreams of attending school, starting a new job, but now I'm afraid to leave this one, and find

myself without the medical insurance necessary to pay for the expensive therapy I am on. To further

complicate matters, my partner has recently lost his job, and it may be a few months before he can

contribute financially, although his emotional support has been tremendous.

What comments can you give on how to deal with an uncertain future?

Regards

Response from Mr. Shernoff

Being diagnosed with HIV is only one additional uncertainty that life throws at us. I know numerous individuals who have begun and completed graduate school following a diagnosis of HIV or AIDS, others who have changed careers, and countless others who have begun new relationships and made changes in their lives.

You sound understandably depressed and one component of depression is often a sense of hopelessness. From what you've told me your life is extremely difficult right now and full of numerous stresses that only exacerbate each other. Are you in therapy? If no,t call the local AIDS seervice organization and ask for a referral to a low fee therapist who is skilled in working with people with HIV/AIDS. You certainly could use additional support, and another understanding professional to talk with.

Best of luck

Michael Shernoff



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