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hello from aus
Jul 10, 2009

hi dr bob, the question i have is regarding your own personal experience with the hiv/aids virus. what are the worst things you have had to deal with on your positively charged journey, what is your cd4 count? do you already have aids?

i have recently been diagnosed, i dont have to take meds yet becuase i have a normal cd4 count. however,my partner has a low cd4 around 100 and the doctors are putting off meds for him for another 2 months (which seems extravegant) becuase he is practically burning a hole in the bed hes so hot (temp wise) and becuase he spends most of his time there, he throws up regularly, seems exhausted and tells me his joints feel stiff, is covered in sweat although tells me he is cold, he isnt eating much and he doesnt seem his usual self (either drained or angry). what should i do? should i suggest the doctor put him on medication sooner than later, its really distressing, me and my young son have t watch him go through this. i dont know what to do and i am losing faith in the doctor who is monitoring him as well as the public sexual health service who work with the dr who in turn works with the specialist every 6 months or so. moving isnt an option. i feel like we have been left to deal with everything ourselves a bit, we are only just out of our teens, not telling others of our status and just scared

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Many of my experiences coexisting with HIV have been detailed in the archives. You can review that information there. I see no point in reiterating and remember this column is supposed to be about you, not me.

As a recently diagnosed HIVer, you I suggest, should spend some time learning more about HIV, HIV monitoring tests and HIV treatments. Begin by reviewing the information on The Body's homepage under the heading "HIV Basics" and proceed on to the expert forums from there.

Regarding your partner who has a CD4 count of 100, fever, vomiting, fatigue, anorexia and joint problems among other symptoms, he needs a complete evaluation by a competent HIV specialist to rule out opportunistic infections and to be started on both combination antiretroviral therapy and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis. This should be done ASAP, hopefully within days. Waiting two months is unreasonable and dangerous. If his current doctor won't evaluate and treat him expeditiously, he should get a more competent and compassionate HIV specialist. This is not something you can or should try to handle on your own.

As for not disclosing your HIV status to others, that is your option; however, you obviously need additional support. Consequently I urge you to contact your local AIDS service organizations to see if they have support services available. I also suggest you reconsider confiding in close friends or family. After all, if the situation were reversed and someone else in your family or a close friend had this type of problem, wouldn't you want to know and help?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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