|Thank you. I am free finally.
Apr 2, 2002
Dear Dr. Frascino,
First of all, I want to say thank you. You are such a wonderful human being. I have been reading some of posting from this site and you are the only one who shows so much care and empathy toward worried souls. Please continue to help us understand and over come HIV. I believe that you will do so continuously.
Now, I like to tell you about my story since many people out there would listen. I came to the U.S six years ago from Korea. I worked hard to obtain my bachelor degree and after I graduated, I found a wonderful job that gave me opportunities to explore my talent further. During last six years, I was with three wonderful individuals who showered me with love and showed me different world. Things were great up until eight months ago. Then, I found strange looking flash color bumps on my penis. On thing led to another, I learned that one of my ex boy friend was hiv positive. I was in total shock. I could not concentrate anything. Although I did not engage in high risk sexual act with him, unprotected anal sex, I was sure I was HIV positive. My boy friend was traveling Europe to attend Medical conferences. I considered him as the love of my life. (Still he is) I did not have a nerve to tell him what was going on. Instead of telling him the truth, I asked him to broke up with me. I told him a big lie telling him my job required frequent travels and possibly relocation. He was miserable. He called me every day for few months, tried to get me back. I did not listen. I bagged him to let me go. In fact, I just wanted to end my life peacefully. In addition, I knew he could find someone who was much better than me.
I did not even think of getting test for HIV since the bumps on my penis, later tested for genital warts, became worse. There, another sign of weak immune system. In addition, I also noticed that my tongue was covered with white coating. Well, as you might guess, I knew this was thrush. Nearly at the same time, a little bubble was growing on my lower lip. Well, this was it. I knew I was definitely HIV positive.
I was totally destroyed. I knew every thing I had worked on would be gone soon. I knew I would be deported from this wonderful country that I grew to love more than my own country. On thing led to another, I found your web site and started reading mails. Since I am a diabetic and have very high high cholesterol (290), I feel a little tired all the time. However, then, I was sure that my fatigue was another sign of HIV. I stated reading your response and realized that it would be so silly for me to simply worried about HIV not even getting tested. Since I had not had sexual encounter for nearly 7 months, I decided to take hiv anti body test from the local clinic. About a month ago, the test came out negative. Since I was sure I was HIV positive, I decided to order Home Acess HIV 1 test, and got tested again, the test came out negative. That moment, I realized that I had to let go this worry of HIV. It became part of my life. I woke up with HIV and went to bed with it for last eight months. I am doing great now. I am receiving proper care for genital wart and the bump on my lower lip turn out to be a thing called mucocele.
Most importantly, over the last eight months I leaned that, HIV is not equal to miserable death. Every day, so many people with hiv make such contributions to the society. Many of them are winning the war with HIV and enjoy symptom free, healthy life. I wasted eight months of my life. Never, never again!!! Please whoever out there read this message, go out and get tested. Please do not waste your time worry about HIV. You do not know until you get tested for it.
And to you Dr.Frascino, Thank you! Your message on this site helped me so much understand HIV and life with HIV. I really do have a different outlook for my life and people with HIV because of your work.
PS: I would like to pledge donation to your organization. Where should I send my check? I know it will be used to help people with HIV. Please let me know.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Thank you for taking the time to share your story and wise words with the readers of this forum. Your 8 months of hell is something so many people experience unnecessarily. I'm hopeful that those still suffering will heed your wise advice. Life is much too precious a gift to waste even one moment of it!
Contributions to my foundation can be sent to:
The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation 779 Altos Oaks Drive, Suite 200 Los Altos, CA 94024
We are funding several extremely important programs, including (1) providing anti-HIV medication to HIV+ pregnant mothers in Africa to help prevent transmission of the virus to their unborn children, (2) displaying the AIDS Memorial Quilt in schools and churches, and (3) crucial care services for underprivileged HIV-positive kids.
On behalf of all those whose lives will be touched by your gift, please accept my sincere and heartfelt thanks.
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