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Who can I ask?
Apr 30, 2002

Hello Dr. Aberg,

After 13 years of infection, I am nearing the line where I need to make a treatment decision, that is, to start medication or not. I decided that my white, male doctor, though competent, could not stand in my shoes so I went to a "support group" for straight individuals at a local ASO. The facilitator was a gay, white man and I found him patronizing. In addition, I walked in on a discussion about social security benefits and the facilitator announced we would not discuss meds here, which was precisely why I came. I am a white female, 41, finishing my second master's degree this month, working a full time job and a part time job, with 289 t-cells and a 71,000VL. I have a fiance and we own a home together. Basically, what do you adivse patients such as myself who have their act together, are not seeking case management, but need information and support? Will it be that because of disease demographics, I will simply always be isolated and have to rely on myself to find what I need for information and understanding? Thanks, Me, Myself & I in Minnesota

Response from Dr. Aberg

With a CD4 count of 289, I would recommend that you see healthcare provider to discuss treatment options. There are support groups and other sources for information for individuals like yourself. There are support groups and information geared toward all lifestyles, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc because HIV does not discriminate. It affects and can infect any of us. Although I personally do not think a healthcare provider's race, gender or sexual orientation matters, I do understand and respect a person's right to choose a physician of their choice. I do not know where you live in Minnesota but here are the names of "white, female physicians" who are very knowledgeable about HIV and can offer you help. If you do not live close, I would recommend that you call their office to locate someone near you.

Leslie Baken, MD Park Nicollet Medical Center 3800 Park Nicollet Blvd. St. Louis Park, MN 55416 952-993-3131

Margaret Simpson, MD Kay Schwebke, MD Hennepin County Medical Center Dept. of Medicine B-533 701 Park Ave. Minneapolis, N 55415 612-347-3424

Susan Kline, MD Delaware Street Clinic (UofMN) 420 Delaware St. Minneapolis, MN 55455 612-625-4680


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