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No Meds ??
Nov 22, 2005

my brother is 33 has had HIV/AIDS for 10 yrs cd4's are 0 and have been for a long time. dr has taken him off all meds except morphine to ease any pain question now remains how long do i expect him to live w/o meds? and second he lives with me what do i expect? sorry for 2 questions Thanks Reva

Response from Dr. Sherer

It is not possible to answer this question with the information you have provided. Patients can live for months or even years with 0 CD4 cells. The answer more likely depends on what other HIV-related infections and conditions your brother has. I suggest that you ask his doctor the same question, as he or she may be able to offer a more informed range of his likely survival based on a better understanding of his full medical history.

His doctor may also be able to better prepare you for what will happen next, depending on his condition. Rather than dying from HIV itself, most patients die from the infections or tumors that occur because of the immune suppression caused by HIV. Here again, the specifics of his case may offer more insight.

In many countries there are hospice organizations that specialize in providing exactly this kind of assistance to the families of people with terminal illnesses of all kinds. They offer support and information to the families, and comfort and care to the patient themselves. For example, they often specialize in pain control to relieve suffering. I am glad to hear that your brother's physician is addressing this important aspect of your brother's condition.

Also in most countries there are support groups for people living with HIV and their families that offer support and information about dealing with HIV/AIDS, and often they include support for people who are near the end of their lives. I wish you well in this difficult time.


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