Question

Dr. Feinberg, my best friend has just been diagnosed with PML this past week. I've been reading up on the disease and it certainly isn't great news. I have two questions: how can I be certain my friend's doctors will aggressively treat the disease, and how can I support my friend? I don't want to blow smoke up his skirt nor do I wish to be a fatalist. I'm not sure how to talk to him about this. I just want to be sure I'm there for him in the best way I can be. Thanks,

Answer

While there are no proven specific treatments for PML, some people improve with combination medications for HIV. This is because their immune system is bolstered by controlling the HIV, and can, in turn, help control the PML. Your friend needs aggressive anti-HIV therapy that includes at least 1 protease inhibitor. He may improve substantially. Good luck!