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no woo-hoo for me

Jul 11, 2006

Doc Bob, I have just been diagnosed HIV+... im in a 3rd world country and have been serisouly stigmatized. to the point where i've asked doctors how long i had on average with current meds, and they just said :'the end is inevitable' refusing to give me a time frame. I read that you are also positive and have been in good health for about 15 years now. which is quite promissing but i dont wanna kick the bucket at 35-40. what is the average lifespan these days? thanks. im sorry but im too down to be as supportive to you as i usually am.

god bless

Response from Dr. Frascino


I'm sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. It's always shocking to realize that such stigmatization and ignorance persist 25 years into this pandemic and with over 40 million of us currently battling this scourge!

I don't know which Third-World country you are writing from, but even though there are far too many doctors giving insensitive and even meanspirited and judgmental comments, like "the end is inevitable," progress is being made in providing more compassionate and competent care, particularly in larger cities. Just this week the FDA gave its approval for a three-in-one-combination pill manufactured in India for use in developing countries. This inexpensive medication combines AZT, 3TC and nevirapine.

Regarding your question about average lifespan, that's a difficult question to answer, because it is dependent on variables, such as viral strain, access to competent and compassionate HIV/AIDS medical care and access to antiretroviral drugs. I would suggest you contact your local AIDS service organizations and try to hook up with an HIV/AIDS specialist in your area. Just Google "AIDS service organization" and the name of your closest city or town. With access to HIV medical expertise and antiretroviral medications, you should not worry about "kicking the bucket" from anything other than old age! You might want to remind that callous doctor who gave you the brush-off that his comment, "the end is inevitable," applies to him as well.

I'd also suggest you read the information on this Web site related to recent diagnosis. You can access it on The Body's homepage under "Quick Links." Click on "Just Diagnosed."

Good luck. I'm here if you need me, OK?

Dr. Bob

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