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Dr. Bob, You're Great !
Mar 30, 2004

Dear Dr. Bob - I'm a physician assistant who's been positive for two years. I started with the seroconversion viral syndrome and pancytopenia. Within a week, I tested positive with a VL of over 750,000. I was lucky - the day I was told I was positive, I was able to see an HIV specialist. Since I was treatment naive, I was also able to begin treatment in a study using Viracept, Epivir, and Ziagen. Within 3 months, my VL was undetectable and has remained that way. My CD4 count last month was 1250. Pretty cool, huh? I wanted to tell you my story because your responses to questions reminds me very much of my HIV doctor. He's given me a great deal of hope and support, much as you have with the folks who write to you. It's hard (no pun intended) being a health care provider as well as a patient, but guys like you and my doctor help me remember that providing care and service is a privilege, and you guys help keep it a joy as well. So, a HUGE thank you to you and your colleagues for keeping this site, and us, alive !!!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Physician Assistant,

Thank you for writing in and sharing your wonderful success story, which, once gain, points out several important facts and leit-motifs (recurrent themes) of my forums:

1. The care of a competent and compassionate HIV/AIDS specialist is essential in optimally navigating the challenges of living with HIV.

2. Hope and a positive attitude are two of the strongest and most effective "medicines" in existence.

Certainly viewing this illness from two different sides of the examination table (both as healthcare provider and as patient) gives us a unique perspective. I believe it affords us the opportunity to experience HIV/AIDS through the eyes and mind of a physician (or physician's assistant), but with the heart and soul of a patient.

P.A., let's get through this together, OK?

Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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