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Anonymous Dr. visit?
Apr 5, 2004

My best friend, age 22 was just diagnosed with HIV yesterday. He is very stared and doesn't know what to do. I am the only person he has told and is afraid to tell anyone else. I think he should see a doctor, but he doesn't want to give his name and he doesn't have health insurance. Any suggestions on what he should do? Thanks for your help.

Response from Dr. Pierone

At some point, hopefully sooner instead of later, your friend will have to face the diagnosis of HIV infection. Many people go into denial after finding out they are HIV positive. Denial is a psychological defense mechanism that serves to shield the ego from hurtful information. It may last a few days or weeks, but in others it may continue for years. Eventually, you friend will overcome his fears and let the people that he trusts know about the diagnosis. He will also need to find the regional health care facility that accepts people without health insurance in order to get into care. You can encourage him to do so and use your influence to move him in that that direction. Good luck.



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