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A thank you
Jul 25, 2001

Hello, I have been on this board for the past several weeks and I wanted you to know how helpful and informative it is. I found out yesterday that I tested negative, much to my relief. But, this whole process has changed my outlook on life, and has really brought home the HIV virus. It has also woken me up to the dangers of unprotected sex. The whole testing process was nerve-racking, but I am a better person now for having gone through it.

I plan to try to make a difference in my life and live it to the fullest. I am now planning to use an HIV/AIDS charity for my primary donations. Do you recommend any that make the most difference for those who suffer from this. I would like to help the cause in any way.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Congratulations on your negative test results!!! Yes, waiting for those results, one often feels like they've got one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel!

I warmly salute your decision to help HIV/AIDS charities. Funds are being drastically cut for many programs, as HIV/AIDS no longer seems to be a national priority, even though it remains the world's most deadly infectious disease. It claimed the lives of 3 million people worldwide in the year 2000, bringing the total number of people lost to AIDS since the start of the epidemic to a staggering 21.8 million. The almost inconceivable scope of this tragedy and unimaginable suffering of the pandemic have finally become a priority for healthcare workers, elected officials, and policymakers in developed countries.

There are many wonderful, worthwhile, and compassionate HIV/AIDS service organizations to choose from both nationally and internationally - some dedicated to education, others to research, and still others to providing crucial patient services. Perhaps you can let me know which area you'd like to contribute to and I'll be happy to provide some recommendations.

I should perhaps mention my foundation - The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization dedicated to providing funds for crucial services for men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS and to raising awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic through advocacy and education. Recently, we have funded The Names Project/AIDS Memorial Quilt to help them show the quilt in high schools in California, ARIS Food Bank Program, Children's Hospital Oakland Pediatric HIV/AIDS Program, AIDS Legal Services, an AIDS hospice in Los Angeles, an HIV/AIDS education program for the primary schools in Mendocino, among others. Additional information can be found on our website - www.concertedeffort.org -- or by calling 650-917-1357.

As an HIV/AIDS specialist and HIV-infected person, I have witnessed the devastation of this illness from both sides of the examination table. We are all painfully aware that despite the hope (and hype) about the new therapies, not one single human being, either in this country or in the world, has ever been "cured" of AIDS. The epidemic continues to ravage lives like mine and continues to cry out for the concern and generosity of people like you. The human tragedy continues. Your compassion is warmly appreciated.

Stay well, and on behalf of all HIV-positive people worldwide, thank you for caring.

RJF


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