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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Is this true?
Dec 1, 2004

I find it hard to belive your statement that "People who are newly diagnosed with HIV in 2004 may well live out their natural lives, on or off treatment and never die from AIDS..." I am 20 and had a possible exposure a little more than a month ago. If I came back positive how can I survive for another 60 or more years? Is your claim only true for those who have access to new powerful and more expensive drugs? I am living in the Philippines and they only have generic ARV drugs here which I think are drugs used in the 90's.

Response from Dr. Conway

On this world AIDS day, I prefer to deliver a message of hope...It is my strongly held belief that we need to make sure that everyone who needs treatment with anti-HIV drugs can get it. We now know that the generic drugs available in your country and in many others are just as effective as the ones sold here in Canada. We also know that over 90% of people who take the treatment faithfully can continue to respond to it for 7 years or more....It is our job (people like me in the so-called developed world) to make sure that, if you are infected with HIV, you have the same oportunity as my patient to outlive the disease.

Now, as for your exposure, this is a good time for you to have an HIV antibody test, repeating it again in 2 months (i.e. 3 months after the exposure). If that one is negative, the exposure you had did not lead to the transmission of HIV. Now an even BETTER thing that having to rely on anti-HIV pills to stay well is to not get HIV in the first place. I wish you that opportunity...

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