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Reponse to: Who Can I Ask?
May 8, 2002

I just wanted to respond to the recently posted question "Who Can I Ask?"

I, too, am a professional woman, infected for 11 years after being raped by a man with AIDS. Currently have a viral load of 90,000+ and a t-cell count of around 350 and am on a 3 drug regimen.

At times I have felt very isolated and have found it difficult to navigate a health care system designed for men or the uninsured. But I had to keep pushing until I found the support I needed. I now see a female physician in a public clinic that specializes in women and children. The relationship I have with my physician is strong and crucial to my drug compliance and continuing recovery.

I, too, had difficulty with the focus of local support groups. So I started my own! With the help of my church and an ASO, we began a support group of Christian, professional HIV+ women. There are not many of us, but the support we give each other has been a lifesaver!

Don't give up on finding support. I resisted case management for a long time because I know how to navigate the system. But it was my case manager who was able to connect me with other like-minded women.

Sorry to be "preachy", but felt I needed to respond.

Response from Dr. Aberg

Thank you for responding. Congratulations on starting a support group. Peer support is extremely helpful. Faith-based programs have been very succesful for many diseases as well as HIV. Although I frequently tell my own patients to look into services available at their church, I failed to mention such in my previous response. No need to apologize for being "preachy". I appreciate your comments and your suggestion may be someone else's lifesaver!


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