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Dear Dr. Lee - Update
Aug 23, 2004

I wrote in February saying that I was very scared and that both my boyfriend and I had been infected and that his CD4 count was 85. Your words were very inspiring and very nice. Well, I thought I'd give you an update. 1st of all, he is now on medications..Sustiva, Emtriva, Viread and Bactrum. His cd4 count went up to 98, then 138 and has so far remained at 138. However, he has not been checked in 3 months and has another appointment on the 25th so I am hoping that his numbers have gone up even more. As far as I go, My cd4 count is in the 500-600 range and I am feeling alright. I have nightsweats and terrible nightmares though. My throat got infected and I went to the hospital running a 103 fever with puss all in my throat, but I got on clyndomycin and it helped much

I have been purchasing Tropicana's Immunity Defense Orange Juice. I'm not sure if it heps, but it has Selenium in it. what do you think on this product? Also purchased from GNC immunity defense pills for us and we have vitamins also called Centrum.

Also, we have been running a business online and have been doing fantastic and we want to thank people like you who put a lot of time into helping people like us. We would like to donate a portion of our profits to an HIV/Aids organization.

I also wanted to ask your opinion on a family. I was thinking about starting one someday and wasn't sure if this was a good idea or not.

Oh and by the way we go to one of the best hospitals in the United states that specializes in Infectious diseases so hopefully all will be well with us..hopefully

do you think we could live a normal life span? I worry that his immune system has sufferent sufficient damage allready and I wonder if it's going to be ok. He has had a sore throat the past couple of days and he frequently has felt a little fatigued, but makes no big deal out of it. He has also complained of weight gain from the medications. Does this mean he's healthy?

Thanks for all your help and an advance thank you.

Response from Dr. Lee

It is good that his CD4 cells are increasing (also his weight) and that yours are stable over 500. The vitamins and minerals may help somewhat, most important is an adequate and balanced diet.

If you are doing well and wish to contribute, there are numerous local, national or international organizations that provide care for people with HIV. I would suggest that you look locally first because you can have the most direct impact and feedback from local charities. Tips- look for an organization that has a low administrative overhead and therefore allows a greater proportion of your gifts to go to direct services. Personally, I like to look at grass roots organizations that have survived more than five years and utilize volunteers.

Having a family and a long life is certainly possible with the current treatment options. It is important, of course, to carefully review and follow treatment regimens.

Be well.


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