Dr. Paul BensonA Doctor for the Whole Family
“I have always desired to be a generalist so I could provide a long-term continuum of care to men, women and children of all ages. This is one of the main reasons I chose the helping profession of medicine,” states Dr. Benson, founder and medical director of the Be Well Medical Center. He has provided compassionate healthcare for more than 30 years.
Dr. Benson is:
• Board Certified in Family Medicine
• Skilled diagnostician
• President of the St. John Oakland Physicians Organization
• On staff at St. John Oakland Hospital in Madison Heights
• HIV specialist credentialed by the American Academy of HIV Medicine
Devoted to Healing
Dr. Paul Benson travels worldwide to learn about the best cures
and treatments for his patients and to teach others
It is the middle of July 2009, and Dr. Paul Benson leaves his Detroit home and family medical practice in Berkley for a long plane ride to Capetown, South Africa. Thousands of miles from home, he joins some 11,000 doctors and scientists from around the globe at the fifth annual International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis Treatment and Prevention. After traveling to the 2008 conference in Australia, he knew that this was an essential event to attend each year to gather knowledge he needed for his medical practice and to be the best caregiver he could be.
“The conference is held in a different country each year,” Benson explains, “but it will not be held in the United States because the US will not allow anyone who has HIV/AIDS to enter the country.”
As one of our areas top HIV/AIDs physicians, Benson is attending the world’s largest open scientific conference on the disease, where he will hear leading scientists, clinicians, public health experts and community leaders from around the globe discuss the latest developments in HIV-related research. He hopes to learn how the most up-to-date scientific advances can, in very practical ways, help him better serve his patients and assist the 1. million Americans who currently live with HIV/ AIDS, as well as the 200-400,000 people who are infected but are not yet aware.
“When I first began treating AIDS patients in the early 1980s, most doctors refused to see them. Back then the disease was referred to as GRID, Gay Related Immune Deficiency Disease,” he explains. “There was no hope in the early years, and my role was to help my patients die with dignity and deal with the social stigma they were confronted with.” There were no medicines, no cures, and the work for doctors like Paul was tough.
By the early 1990s, medicines were available for AIDS patients. “My patients would take 25 pills a day,” Paul recalls. The expense was high, as were the side effects. “Now, an AIDS patient takes one pill a day and can live a normal life with a normal life expectancy,” Paul continues. Side effects are usually manageable, and the expense of the medicines—as much as $15-20,000 a year—can be supplemented or paid for by several Federal programs. The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) covers the cost of the medicines for uninsured people, and the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) covers the cost for working people with little or no prescription drug coverage. That is why, at this time, 90 percent of Dr. Benson’s HIV patients are able to receive the proper medication, and the other 10 percent are at the beginning of the disease. Since their immune systems are not damaged, they do yet not need medicine.
Dr. Benson participates as a principle investigator to help research the effectiveness of medicines for HIV/AIDS. His work with his patients has helped to advance and identify successful treatments for the disease. He also travels around the country to lecture, share his knowledge of new therapies, and lead case presentations to other physicians and healthcare professionals.
An integral part of his work is providing prevention education. “The best way to avoid AIDS is to always use a condom,” he maintains. “If you are at risk, get tested by your doctor or the Health Department.”
When asked what segment of our population is most at risk, showing the highest increases in the disease, he responded, “Without question, it is African-American women, ages 25-44.” It is easier for women to contract HIV through heterosexual sex than it is for men. Also, within this age bracket, women are often primary caregivers to others and neglect going to doctors for their own health, he believes.
An important part of Dr. Benson’s work, in addition to treating the virus with the most cutting-edge medicines, is to help his patients with the social aspects of their lives, and improve levels of self-esteem. In some cases, AIDS can cause disfiguration and loss of normal facial form. Dr. Benson has great expertise treating this condition with facial fillers and also trains physicians, plastic surgeons and dermotologists in the use of Sculptra fillers.
Dr. Benson leads a busy schedule as a family practitioner at his Be Well Medical Center in Berkley. He provides care for patients of all ages, from school children (the walk-in $20 basic school and sports exams are always popular) to seniors. The Center also includes a Skin Rejuvenation Center, pharmacy and office space for several other medical specialists… all part of Dr. Benson’s plan to help more people “Be Well.”
Visit Our New
Skin Rejuvenation Center
state-of-the-art treatments and products
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beautify you inside and out. Non-Invasive Treatments to Repair, Restore and Prevent Damage and Aging to Your Skin.
• Painless Laser Hair Removal
• Laser, Chemical &
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• Botox & Facial Fillers
Dr. Paul Benson
for more than 30 years