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HIV+ without treatment
Jul 31, 2008

hi,Dr.Joseph

my Brother has been HIV+ since last year, unfortunately he still couldnt face the truth, he has psychological problems now and also refuses to receive any treatment..so I would like to ask u how long a HIV+ patient will live without any treatment,and How can I persuade him to receive the right treatment.Because I have promised him not to tell it to our parents..so I really need some tips from you.

Response from Dr. McGowan

I want to thank you for being such a strong support for your brother. It sounds like he is having difficulty coming to terms with his infection. This may be behind his difficulty disclosing his diagnosis and being willing to accept treatment. If his CD4 count is 350 or lower, he should probably be on treatment. His current CD4 count is the most important predictor of his chances of getting sick in the near future. In general, it takes about 10 years on average from the time of infection to the development of AIDS. But this can be shorter if a person has a high viral load. I would make sure your brother stays connected with an experienced medical provider who can work with him to accept his diagnosis and explore easy to take treatments. He may also need some counseling and therapy to address his "psychological problems" at the same time.

Best of luck,

Joe


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