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i was diagnosed hiv+...
      #873 - 03/30/00 10:36 PM

I was diagnosed HIV+ on April 3, 1996 - the day after my 36th
birthday. I was initially told by the diagnosing Dr. to do
nothing for six-months while my t-cell count "leveled". Although,
emotionally baked at the time, the thought of such a course of
action seemed as wreckless as the behavior that led to my
diagnosis and left me feeling helpless.

With support from family and friends, I began researching who
were the most highly regarded HIV specialists in the city in
which I live and arranged initial consultations with no less than
six of them. Several,"experts" maintained that HIV remained a
terminal condition and I left several of their offices in tears
and hopelessness. Some were only peripherally aware November,
1995 through January, 1996. Based upon this information, the
brightest, most compassionate man in the world, Dr. Corklin
Steinhart, reccommended that I immediately embark upon a triple
combination therapy but left the final decision to me. After much
consideration, I found it immensely logical and extremely
comforting to take the most aggressive course of action possible
in spite of the unknowns at the time. After a little over two
years, my viral load has consistantly been "undetectable"
(initially 300,000 copies/ml) which we are now testing to below
50 copies/ml. My t-cells (initially +/-840)are now consistantly
in the 1500 range! I am so grateful for Dr. Steinhart's support
and committment and for the love and compassion of my family and
friends who have so strongly supported me through all of my
"trials and tribulations". Life is good both physically and
spiritually and I thank you for this opportunity to pay tribute
to these special people in my life.


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