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HIV Positive

November 26, 1987

Lynn Simross' "HIV Positive: An Uncertain Future" was an excellent article on the lives of several infected people still in relatively good health.

As an HIV-infected person, I can relate to the uncertainty of those in the article.

What particularly disturbed me, however, were those individuals who refuse to avail themselves of AZT therapy. This is probably due to the fear of toxic side effects. These are however easily reversable.

As one who has elected to receive AZT under the newly liberalized standards, I can attest to the seemingly powerful benefits of this first AIDS fighting drug.

I had known I was HIV-positive for a couple of years and had monitored my T-cell count on a semi-regular basis. After developing itching, skin rashes, white spots in my mouth and a chronic sore throat, I visited my doctor who is well versed in AIDS.

He informed me my problems were AIDS related and recommended that I start AZT therapy. AZT is now available to those whose T-cell count has dropped to 400 as opposed to prior use only for those whose count was dangerously low--below 200--or had experienced an opportunistic infection.

Also having had chronic anemia, which is HIV-related, I prepared myself for the possibility of even worse anemia as a side effect of AZT. My fears were somewhat abated by my doctor who related the many positive results from his patients.

So, I started popping AZT every four hours, day and night along with another anti-viral medication that is believed to multiply the beneficial effects of AZT. I also continued AL721 (egg lecithin) that I had started a couple months earlier.

The results so far for me have been incredible. I have experienced a 30% increase in my red blood count, and am no longer anemic. My total white blood count is rising. My mouth and skin problems are gone for the first time in six months. And particularly exciting, a blood test to detect HIV virus in the blood came back negative! My doctor said the virus was now dormant! He feels I am doing very well and expects me to remain healthy until new and better therapies come along.

As one HIV-infected person, I believe my future is certain. I'm going to make it.

My message to other HIV-infected people is simple: Don't hide your head in the sand of denial or fear. Find a knowledgeable doctor and avail yourself of the exciting progress being made in fighting this damned virus.

NAME WITHHELD

Los Angeles

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