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Help, afraid my dad is infected and hiding it!
Mar 1, 2001

I am afraid my dad might have AIDS and not telling me. He is gay, living with an HIV positive man. I'm not sure about unprotected sex. Basically, every partner he's been with in the past 8 years has been HIV positive. My dad also drinks very heavily and his partner is in rehab for cocaine use. Recently my dad came to visit me (I live in Alaska and he in California) and he looked awful!!! He had dark rings around his eyes, looked puffy, and he had a lot of sores on his head and some on his forehead. I think I saw some on his hands too. In just the last year he has had shingles, pneumonia, and he said his doctor told him he at some point had Hepatitis C. I really need to know if this sounds like he could be infected....I know he will never tell me if he is. At one point about 5 years ago he said he would never get an AIDS test. I appreciate your time.

Response from Dr. Dezube

I appreciate your concern for your Dad. It is both understandable and commendable. There's obviously no way for me to tell if he's HIV infected from your note, though I do have to admit that many of the things you write are very concerning. You could discuss this with him and express your concerns to him, and let him know that you are non-judgmental. I imagine that you have already done this. In time, he may open up to you. I deal with this issue (should I tell the family?) on a daily basis with many of my patients. Many of them indeed do open up in time; others however choose not to. Both types of patients need love and support. Hope this helps. BD.


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