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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
          
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Rep.Fatigue and some tough questions...
Feb 18, 2002

Dear Dr Frascino, Thanks for your honest answer although it did shake my confidence on potentially not able to live a normal life span. I have a 3 year old kid and I want to see him grow up...I want to be there for him...but now, I just have to pray that the future medications continue to work. I have another question that I need you to help me, I'm from a country where being a HIV+ is almost like a death sentence where you will not get employed if they know your status. If you dont work, how the hell you gonna get those medications, so in another word, being a HIV+ is as good as getting a death sentence. Anyway, back to my question, I will be going for a job interview in 1 week time and if successful I will need to go for a medical screening which involve some blood test. What can they find out from the normal bloodtest (ie: blood count and etc). Will they be able to tell that you are a HIVer just by looking at the blood abnormaloties (if any?). Hope you will help me with this urgently. Thanks

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Routine blood work such as blood counts will not reveal your HIV-positive status. Only a test specific for HIV can do that. How unfortunate that your country still has such negative attitudes toward HIV disease. As if living with this virus weren't challenging enough, we have to also put up with ignorance, prejudice, and irrational fears. Organizations such as my foundation, The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation, as well as many others all the way up to the World Health Organization and the United Nations, are working desperately to educate people about the realities of HIV/AIDS at all levels, from African villagers to Heads of State. It's amazing that we've known about HIV/AIDS for over 2 decades and still people are being disenfranchised by a virus!

I don't know what country you are writing from, but chances are there are groups working to overcome irrational fear and ignorance there. They might be able to help, should you face any discrimination, or if you need other assistance. Let's hope that your 3-year-old child grows up in a more tolerant and enlightened world!

As for your being there to watch him grow up, plan on it! Don't let your confidence be shaken. Just remain cognizant of the realities of the disease. Stay involved and focused on your health, complying with medication schedules, regular visits with your HIV specialist, and keeping a positive attitude. Our chances of "dying of old age" continue to get better with each new discovery.

Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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