A fourth very cool woman; some straight men don’t meet this many in their entire lives. With the work I’ve done in a pharmacy, I take immediately to Doctor XX, and the way, fresh from med school, she rattles off abbreviations and testing protocols and drug classes: plain and nuclear and nonnuclear reverse transcriptase inhibitors, CD4 counts, viral load. She at first tells us that, with a line of prescriptions at the ready, that Chad is on death’s door, his white blood cell count is so drastically low; she leaves the room for a moment. Chad won’t look at me.
She returns. Profuse apology. Upon further study of the chart, that was a percentile, not an absolute value. He’s actually at quite a manageable level.
Atripla, she decides. Emtricitabine/tenofovir/efavirenz. One pill, once a day, every day, no matter what. Only 2,000 dollars for a one-month supply.