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anal cancer and blindness
Jun 1, 2012

My partner just passed away in March. He and I both have/had the virus. We did not take the same cocktail but I went to a support meeting not long ago and the information was given that people on the cocktails over ten years can get anal cancer and blindness from even taking the meds correctly but the virus is mutating to cause this to happen--I believe, nationwide. The source of this info comes from the disease center in Georgia.

I would like to know if this is true and I understand my partner could have been saved if the doctor would have acted in a timely manner. My partner went in complaining about what he thought was hemorrhoids, but was actually the HIV-related cancer. I believe that the doctor should be dismissed for not checking this out in the early stage. my partner could have been saved. I understand that the blindness cannot be helped. So what gives about the concern with this new way the virus can cause this and why are people not being educated to the fact too?

I mourn greatly about my partner's death and not only cry a lot but I am angry for the neglect that was done. I am thinking of just stopping my meds cause it looks like 'hope' has grown dim.

Response from Dr. Henry

Anal cancer is an increasing threat to the health/life of HIV+ persons. Anal cancer is caused by the human papilloma virus. Anal pap testing is under evaluation as a screening test for anal cancer for men and women (higher risk if HIV+).Physical evaluation by a clinician and intervention (often topical therapies or sometimes surgery) if concern about anal concern is raised is recommended. Anal cancer is a terrible disease so more attention needs to be pain to it. Blindness in the setting of HIV/AIDS is often due to a virus infection (CMV typically). It can be treated in most cases. I recommned discussing your concerns with your doctor. Late stage AIDS, blindness complicating AIDS, and advanced anal cancer all can be tough to treat so early detection/treatment is highly recommended. I am sorry for your loss. KH

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