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Finally...the Truth!
Nov 27, 2005

Dear Dr. Frascino,

Rather than a question, I have a compliment. Your response to "The Dirty Truth on LIfespan" is the most honest I have read or heard from HIV-specialists. Although our intention is to encourage HIV-positive men & women to remain hopeful that they will live long, health lives, I believe it is irresponsible for those of us in the HIV community, especially doctors, to state anything but the facts about a prognosis with HIV. To state anything else leaves us with a false sense of security through which we justify our behavior, e.g., "People aren't dying from HIV/AIDS anymore, so I don't need to worry about contracting it", "Since people aren't dying anymore, I don't need to disclose my HIV status before having sex." I believe that people are much more resiliant than we give them credit for, and that they can find a way to remain hopeful (an important part of remaining healthy) in spite of information that might not sound so promising. As a HIV-positive home health case manager for people with end-stage HIV disease, I've found a way to remain hopeful in spite of the truth, as a HIV-positive physician you've been successful - others can be, too. In addition to our ability to be honest AND encourage others to take care of themselves and each other, the truth may just renew interest in the larger community (who read these posts) to support ASOs who provide much needed services to those of us who aren't doing as well.

Thanks for having the confidence in me to take care of my own emotional health.

TdavisMSW Nov 10, 2005

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Thanks for your comments. Yes, it is indeed possible (and desirable) to be both honest and optimistic! We've all seen what happens to those who are, shall we say, "less than honest," i.e. DeLay, Libby, Bush, Cheney (insert total body shiver here).

Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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