I recently posted a story about a patient that we lost who had been a long-term HIV survivor. I began reflecting on our last six years in practice as an HIV provider. In that four years, We have only lost three patients who were HIV positive. One died from recurrence of lymphoma and was in his late 70s and actually gave up his fight. The second one died from a drug overdose. But while he was taking his medications. He would remain undetectable and stable. The third patient just died this last week, and had been a long-term survivor as a result of getting placed into a clinical study back in 1996. The study was for the drug that would become Crixivan. As a researcher at that time, the company created a lottery for the nation, and we were fortunate enough to get two of those spots. He got one of those spots and lived a healthy life until the last year. He developed an aggressive form of prostate cancer which metastasized and that is what took his life.
I’m very grateful to have been a part of the research back in the 90s and am grateful to all of the patients who participated and to all of the researchers throughout the world who are still working to find a cure for HIV/AIDS. We need to continue our education efforts, particularly among our young people to remind them that HIV is still in our community. They are still at risk. Particularly those young African-American men who have sex with men. The CDC believes that one in two of that population will become exposed to HIV at some point in their life. This is a very sad statistic, and we need to continue to do more with education and outreach.
As parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers we need to educate ourselves and therefore pass what we learn on to the generation who is now coming up.
Every day is precious, we need to continue to be kind to one another and remember the golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated every day and share that message with everyone that you meet.
Remember, Be Happy, Help Others.
Have a wonderful day,