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- Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:27 am
I am going to try to keep this short.
I am a British citizen living in Thailand. Not unlike many men living here I met a Thai woman who quickkly became my girlfriend. We have been together for nearly two years. She recently fell very ill and went home to her family and was hospitalized. I took time off of work to go and see her. I queried the doctor as to her condition and he told me (after consulting her), that she had "Cryptococcol Menigitis (viral) and Phnuemonia" (my spelling is probably wrong, sorry). I looked up all the applicable information on that stuff.
Anyway, I was sitting with her and a friend comes in speaks with her in Thai. I speak a bit of Thai and was intrigued by some of the conversation; as it implied something I didn't already know. Seeking out the friend later and with a short conversation I learned that my girlfriend has HIV/AIDS and had not told for fear of me deserting her.
I do not know how long she has had the virus (at least two years, I presume). My question is what is the prognosis of someone who has HIV/AIDS for more than two years who is now ill with the aforementioned illnesses? It would seem quite dire. I know that many reports say 10-12 years after infection AIDS sets in, but this is average and not applicable in all cases. I would assume that if she has these illnesses now that she has reached the stage of AIDS and recovery from these illnesses, if it happens, will only be temporary before re-infection, correct? Ultimately it is these opportunistic diseases that casue the death of an AIDS patient right? And as I queried, if she has them now it can't be good right? Am I kidding myself in thinking that she may live another 5-10 healthy years?
I have been tested for HIV as part of a routine physical recenlty and was negative. I only have protected sex with my girlfriend. I know I should be tested again in six months and I will.
I could really use some guidance on this. I think our sexual relationship as boyfriend/girlfriend is obviously over, but I would like to beleive that I am good human being and will remain there for her during this time that she needs someone most. I am onviously hurt that she lied to me and kept the truth from me; but that is more social, and I will let you guys stick to the medical stuff.
Many thanks for your thougths on this in advance.
| Dr. Tamer Fouad
- Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:12 pm
I am sorry to hear about your girlfriend's situation.
Cryptococcus is a fungus and infection in AIDS patients is an opportunistic one. 90% of those with cryptococcal pnemonia also have cryptococcal meningitis.
As you suggested, up to 80% of deaths among AIDS patients are a direct result of an opportunistic infection other than HIV. So the prognosis is rather grim.
To prevent recurrence of these infections if they are cured, patients will have to be placed on antifungals for life.
Please refer to this abstract of an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1990. It is concerned with the prognosis of AIDS patients with cryptococcal infection receiving different therapeutic regimens.
Please accept my best regards to you and your girlfriend.