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How dangerous is it to return to New Orleans
Oct 4, 2005

I will be returning to New Orleans for the first time since Hurricane Katrina this coming Thursday. Fortunately there was minimal flooding in the area of my home, however, I'm aware of significant roof damage and broken pipes. No doubt there will be mold issues. Additionally in reaching my home I will pass through areas where there would have been significant flooding. What is recommended to protect ones self from the dangers that exist? Yesterday my Doctor advised that I begin treatment with a combination of Truvada and Sustiva due to a decline in my numbers. In December my CD4 ct was 749 and is now 408. CD4% was 59,500 and is now 750,000. All of this is quite depressing and I don't want to create more problems by not taking protective measures during my return. I suppose that I could abandon a return to New Orleans, however, it is my home and I love it like no other place in the world. Thank you so much for any help that you can offer. I'm sure that there are many HIV infected people with similar concerns who will be returning to storm damaged areas within the forseeable future.

Response from Dr. Henry

Starting therapy sounds advisable in the near future but you need to know that your suppply of drug will be uninterrupted. HIV clinics in New Orleans are severely disrupted as are health services in general so if there is uncertainty about getting refills on your meds or getting evaluated you may want to either wait for a while before returning or consider use of a boosted protease inhibitor based regimen where if the supply is interrupted prompt development of resistance is much less likely. KH



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