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17 yrs of proof!
Dec 23, 2001

Dear Doctor,

My Wife died 7 years ago from this damned disease and I just read today that many Doc's are now saying its fine to delay pill therapy now and start it around 200 <CD-4 COUNT> the reason I write is that back then my wife chose to start treatment and I still never have Doc and almost all of the people who were on pill therapy are dead now and I kid you not! Never woulld I EVER blame a Doctor because you guys are doing the best you can with the information you have at the time but I wonder how thiis became an essential part of treatment and why so early in the first place being it was never successful anyway Doc? Also, may I say that I am infected for over 17 years now and am still not on meds and honestly I dont treat myself as well as I should at times with regard to recreational drugs. I also "wish to God" Doc, that someone would take a stand and tell HIV patients that Cocaine without a doubt... <taken in any form such as crack or powder or IV injection> is THE WORST drug that a patient can do. I have seen it over and over and over and over again Doc, I also know that for some reason women are much more pre-disposed to being serious abusers of Cocaine than men ever are! Thhroughout the years I have seen Coke people waste away and die many-many times faster than people who do other drugs, and while I dont condone any you must realize that Coke is the biggest killer and we in the street have done the research and know this to be true. I beged my wife not to do Coke and she was too far gone to stop Doc and it killed her without a doubt. We had 3 people in our little circle back then, my wife and my best friend and myself and while the best friend who is clean and a member of Narcotics Anonymous for the last 2 years and I (who also had clean time close to 2 years but am a mess for the last few years as I cant get over my wife still) are still here and will tell it to the mountain..............LEAVE COCAINE ALONE IT WILL KILL YOU FASTER THAN ANYTHING OUT THERE! One last thing, cant members who write in asking for advice like that girl who got infected by some creep that knew he was HIV positive and others just get a "qwik e-mail" address from hotmail or yahoo and post in a nom de plume so we can give them advice, its almost hurtful to see people that really could use advice and I know in your position you cant make statements about the law or any areas like that for obvious reasons. I sure wish we could write to some of them! Thanx for all you do Doc! We do appreciate it!

Response from Dr. Aberg

Thanks for your note. You have a lot of good advice and I want others to see your message. We cannot give out e-mail addresses as part of the purpose is for people to ask us questions anonymously. Plus there are always dangers in chat rooms. Unfortunately not everyone has good intentions like yourself.

Despite all the medicine in the world, people still die from all types of diseases. I understand your anger and frustration. You are quite right. We did the best we could under the circumstances. We started therapy early because we were unaware of the long term complications. We gave mono-therapy because there was no dual or triple therapy. We did not know about drug resistance. We did not have genotyping to look for mutated viruses. But havinng said that, it does point out that we have learned and we will continiue to learn and improve outcomes for people infected with HIV.

It is the holiday time and historically has always been a time of depression. Just as there are many fun things to do and celebrate, it also reminds us of the people we have lost. They are not here to share with us this holiday and we miss them. Take this time to cherish the wonderful memories that you did have together. Take time to be with friends and family. Take care

JA


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