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COPD
May 23, 2008

Hello Doc,

I had some weeks back written to you that I had dodged the HIV bullet, and you had congratulated me generously. However, I have recently been diagnosed of mild COPD. When the doctor was talking me through prognosis, I was struck with the similarity of COPD and HIV. Both are progressive incurable terminal disease. Both don't give me a life expectancy of more than 15 years. Both will reduce my quality of life dramatically and I will be on medications till the end of my life. Doc -is it that bad to have COPD or is it that I am panicking again. Do I need to run the ELISA test again in case COPD interfered with my HIV labs bloodwork?

Thank You Distraught Guy

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Distraught Guy,

You certainly seem like a "glass half empty" as opposed to "glass half full" type of guy! The difference between COPD and HIV are far greater than any meager similarities and your statistics are definitely "worst case scenarios!" Yes, COPD can be a challenging illness; however, it can also be quite mild. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a condition in which the lungs are damaged, making it more difficult to breath. Cigarette smoking is the most common cause. I'm not sure where you or your doctor got the 15-year life expectancy figure for either COPD or HIV. I've been HIV positive since January, 1991. Based on your life expectancy statistics, I should be pushing up daisies right now, rather than responding to your pessimistic post and unwarranted panic.

Do you need to run another ELISA in case COPD interfered with your HIV test results? No, absolutely not. What you need is an attitude adjustment. And if you happen to be a smoker, you need to quit!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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