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Non progressor and specific gene
Dec 28, 1998

Michael, My name is Eric and I am 34 yrs old seroconverted in May98. Low Vl 1550 and CD4s are good. My question is you mentioned that a specific gene was located common to all non progressors. I had heard that is was found in Eastern European background --which is where my roots started -- and Jewish as well.. Anyway, what is that gene and has that been found in ALL non progressors?

On the mental note - I have told my parents about my status and I started on agressive meds "hit early and hard philopsophy" and dont let HIV destroy and naive cells in the lymph/immune system. I started today on Sustiva, DDI, D4T and HU. Thank god no side effects YET. Anyway my parents and my MD think I am handling this TOO WELL because I have not displayed any emotional breakdown. THe way I am handling it is not my crying or feeling sorry for myself at the stupidity in being safe -- knowing that I should have been safer in practicing sex -- but to be a sponge and educate myself about everything there is to know about this disease and treatment options -- from treatment to VL testing and monitoring -- insurance issues --you name it. I this this not too compulsive. Do you? Also, I am beginning to realize that when I will be dating that telling my partner will be the ultimate challenge. That is the only difficult thing for me to deal with right now.

Thanks for your input

Response from Mr. Shernoff

Eric,

I am not very informed about the specifics of the who has been found to have the gene and what their back ground is. Try asking the Body's medical expert this question. I am certain that he will be able to provide you with the latest information.

Tell your parents and doctor that no two people handle any crisis in any one way. Especially in this case there is not any one right way for a person to be emotionally reacting. Educating yourself is very empowering and necessary to fight a sense of hopelessness and powerlessness. Perhaps you will have strong emotioanl reactions at some later point, and maybe not.

I never cried or became hysterical in response to learning that I was infected. I did become sad and depressed for awhile. Now I sometimes still get sad and sometimes I am angry about being infected. What is important is that you are honest with yourself about what your feelings are about being infected. You are also correct about the difficulty in letting a perspective boy friend or sex partner know your status. That still brings up a variety of strong feelings in me, even though I have known I am HIV positive for over ten years. Best of luck to you. Michael Shernoff, MSW



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