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What Is the Most Pressing Issue in HIV Care Today?

July 23, 2013


Calvin Cohen, M.D., M.S.

Non-HIV Primary Care

"What I spend most of my visits with my patients on is actually everything other than HIV.

"In other words, the virus is controlled, the CD4s are doing well, the regimens are minimally intrusive. So it's depression, blood pressure, sugar control, weight, exercise. It's internal medicine, the rest of health, because we've done a pretty good job in finding the right regimens that control the virus and don't cause a lot of problems.

"Of course, there are some toxicities -- diarrhea or whatever it may be -- or people that don't like their regimen, the number of pills or what have you. Nevertheless, that's a minor part of our visit. We focus most of the time on the rest of medicine, which is obviously great in a lot of ways. We've done the hard work and now we can focus on the 'easy' part, which is: It's tough to have a healthy life sometimes."

-- Calvin Cohen, M.D., M.S., Director of Research, Community Research Initiative of New England, Boston, Mass.

This article was provided by It is a part of the publication The 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2013).

Reader Comments:

Comment by: John Marshall (Essex, Mass) Sat., Oct. 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm UTC
Thank you doctor, you understand what living with HIV means. Spread the word.
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Comment by: John Marshall (Essex, Mass) Sat., Oct. 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm UTC
Like most doctors, he tries to minimize the side effects of the meds. Severe adverse events stage 3/4 can happen. The number may be as high as 25% of patients. The meds are highly toxic and can be debilitating. The NRTIs cause a lot of irreversible damage to body chemistry. Diarrhea my ass.
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Comment by: bcilla13 (atlanta, ga) Tue., Sep. 10, 2013 at 12:49 pm UTC
treatment is without doudt the key to our survival i encourage everyone suffering from this illness to get into care and remain in care, the only way to sustain life span is by treating this disease aggressively.
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Comment by: todd jackman (Vancouver, bc) Fri., Aug. 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm UTC
is Cambrigde Ontario a good place for an HIV+ individual.Honestly please tell me if they are up to speed?
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