May #101 : Future Blocks - by David Gelman, MD

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May 2004

Future Blocks

by David Gelman, MD

10 stubborn obstacles to good treatment for all U.S. HIVers:

1 Lack of research. Few studies on women, people of color and children.

2 Late diagnosis. Some 40 percent of HIVers have less than 200 CD4s at diagnosis, raising their disease risk.

3 Drug side effects. Folks with conditions like hypertension and diabetes take meds without fearing diarrhea, lipo or fatigue. Why, oh, why can’t we?

4 Substance abuse. Booze and party drugs hurt HAART adherence—and some sap the meds’ strength.

5 Health-insurance woes. Having insurance slashes HIV deaths by about 75 percent among the recently diagnosed. But ADAP is crumbling....

6 Not enough savvy docs. Wanted: more HIV specialists—and fast.

7 Medical education. Many HIVers can’t comprehend medical consent forms or pill-bottle labels.

8 Drug prices. A chronic pain, inflamed by Norvir’s recent quadrupling.

9 Limited research. More trials are needed, and not enough HIVers sign up.

10 Dubya. The prez isn’t losing sleep over whether HIVers are getting care—just over whether some of us are getting married.

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