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A Friend Initially Testing Positive
Apr 10, 2000

(Gonna try and keep this short) I'm in my 40' s- she's in her late 20's. I have two adolescent children. She had a date rape experience prior to meeting me and recently had her first test (6 mo.) which came back positive. We have held off on any serious contact with us until the test came back (at her choice). Now that she has the result, she is totally turning away from me saying that it wouldn't be fair to me or the children. That she has no life and could die within months. There is absolutely no doubt that I love her, or for that matter - her me. Should we embark on a life? How are the children's risks? On the average, how long of a life would it be. On the plus side she was tested 6 months after the initial (and only) contact. Are these tests ever wrong? I want very much to help her through this - to whatever end. I just need some information to provide a positive argument to her. Thanks In Advance

Response from Dr. Feinberg

If the test was confirmed by Western blot, then it's positive. She should see an HIV specialist as soon as possible-- go with her, for support and to get the knowledge you need. There are terrific medicines for HIV available now and there are people who have never gotten sick from their HIV, work full-time, etc etc. Even if she did absolutely NOTHING about her HIV, it would take an average of 8-10 years from now for her to become sick (develop AIDS).

There are no risks to your children unless they have sexual contact with her, so don't worry about it. Find the kind of doctor I described (you can get information on doctors and clinics with this expertise from the Public Health Service-- try the website for the Centers for Disease Control) right away and convince her to go through with the appointment. You won't regret it, and it's the best possible thing you could do for both of you. Good luck!


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