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Starting Meds
Mar 23, 2006

In January I received a HIV + test from a test for a life insurance application. I went the very next day to my general practitioner and was tested again. This test too was positive. No one was in a hurry for me to see an infectious disease specialist, but me. I had an appointment within the week, and did my blood work. Six weeks later I went for my follow up visit my new specialist information me that my CD4 was 270 and VL was 10,000. What if my numbers had dropped even more dramatically in that 6 week period? She of course started me on meds, and asked if I had any other options. She was very blount and said no, I recently wrote her a letter to ask the questions that I am to dumb founded to ask at the time fo the appointment. She called me back and basically said this was to hard and I needed to find another doctor. I have and the new doctor is one of the best of the state, I see her on 4/24. I have to say I have never been really into drugs, except the last couple of years I did a bit of cocaine. I have always been an occasional pot smoker and drinker. Usually to busy with life for either. I am sure the cocaine made my HIV worst, but are the other ways to get your CD4 up initially without taking drugs? Thanks, in advance for your help. Been reading the posting and they are inspiring and helping me. D

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Sorry to hear about your recent HIV diagnosis and the shockingly bad care you have received to date. Do you happen to live in one of those square red states in the middle of the country?

The most important thing for you to do is link up with a competent and compassionate HIV specialist. Hopefully your new physician ("one of the best in the state") will fit the bill. If not, try the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Their Web site, www.aahivm.org, has a listing of HIV specialists by locale.

Next, I would start reading and become better versed on HIV in general, including treatment options and what you can do to improve your overall health status. A good place to start is with the quick links on The Body's homepage. Just click on "Just Diagnosed" and you'll find a wealth of information on topics ranging from choosing an HIV specialist to diet/nutrition to "dating issues after testing HIV positive." To improve your immune status, we recommend you start by optimizing your nutrition, sleep/rest cycles and exercise programs, plus decrease stress, quit smoking and avoid recreational drugs/excessive alcohol. Your HIV specialist will have more specific recommendations for you based on your medical history, physical examination and laboratory studies.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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