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Tired of Living Like This. I BEG you to please answer me.
Aug 28, 2005

Dear Doctor, I appreciate you reading this. I am in a bit of a quandry. I have had HIV for 13 or so years and I have chosen not to take any medications and have never had my blood drawn to get my VL and CD4 numbers. Up to this point, I have yet to have any OI or severe symptoms. I know this disease is different for everyone, but can you give me an idea of what I'm in for in the next few years? What OI do you think I will succomb to? I'm really trying to prepare for my end of life decisions and also trying to prepare my family. I am a 36 year old white female and choose not to take any medication to prolong my life because I know my life would just be lonley and sad. No man would ever want an HIV infected woman and all I've ever wanted was to be a wife and mother. That's obviously what got me to this point of being HIV+....not being discrimnate enough in my choice of a mate. I'm just very tired of living. I really do appreciate your response. You have no idea how much it will help me out with my decisions.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I understand your cry for help, but knowledge about "What OI do you think I will succumb to?" is clearly not what you need. Whether to take medication for any illness is always a personal decision. However, I must point out the reasons behind your death wish "No man would ever want an HIV-infected woman and all I've ever wanted was to be a wife and mother" are invalid and tragically inaccurate. There are a great (and ever increasing) number of magnetic couples (one positive, one negative). I have considerable firsthand knowledge of these couples, as I have been in a magnetic-couple relationship for the past 12 years. Steve (Dr. Steve, The Body's expert in the Tratamientos forum) is HIV negative; I'm HIV positive. We've had a fairytale romance (so to speak) that others only dream of. So, my dear, you can see that it's not only possible to get married, but you might even marry a doctor! (Although I should point out that Steve and I, due to discriminatory policies, cannot legally tie the knot. But we are much more married than many of those trying to write discrimination into our constitution with a ban on same-sex marriage.)

So now that we've put the "finding a mate" worry to rest, what about being a mummy? That, too, is entirely possible, despite your HIV-positive status. Aside from adoption, in vitro fertilization and close monitoring by an HIV-knowledgeable obstetrician can now offer you a safe pregnancy with minimal risk of mother-to-child transmission of the virus. Yep, you can still have it all hubby, motherhood, the white picket fence and "health," if you so desire. Alternatively you can continue with your plans for your end of life. Refusing medications and HIV health care because you're depressed about your chances of getting married or having a family is not exactly suicide, but it's the next closest thing. I urge you to do two things without delay:

1. See a psychiatrist. Your depression has altered your perception of reality and is the main obstacle standing between your current sadness and the very real chance of a happily ever after future.

2. Establish care with an HIV/AIDS specialist. Get your blood tests and take anti-HIV medications, if needed. Even though you've had HIV for 13 years, you have remained paralyzed by unwarranted fears of what being HIV positive means. You need to conquer these fears. Read through the information on this site and related links for a more realistic look of life with HIV. Try clicking on the quick links on The Body's home page "Just Diagnosed" and "Inspiring Stories" for a start.

I do understand that you are "tired of living like this." That is why you must change the way you are living. What OI's will you succumb to? Hopefully none. But that's entirely up to you.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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