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Recently Tested Poz
Aug 28, 2005

I refer to your response Aug 26, 2005 to the post 'Recently tested Poz'.

You despair how in 2005 people allow themselves become HIV infected. "With all the information that is know about how this infection can be prevented... knowledgeable people place themselves at risk". The poster isn't asking how/why he/she became infected but instead asking about a treatment strategy. You respond to the readers treatment question and then follow it up with what seems to be "you made a stupid error. Idiot. Don't complain about it now" It *probably* was a careless and terrible decision, but how can you criticise this person in a public forum when you and/or the readers don't know the circumstances of how this person became infected? Your response is very demoralising. Tough luck I suppose - I was careless contract HIV.

Response from Dr. Wohl

My intention was not quite what you have read into my response. I have made no assumptions or judgments about how this particular person came to be HIV-infected and therefore my question. Indeed, I am quite aware that people write in to the forum from all over the world including places where it is extremely common for people to believe they are not at risk and then find themselves infected with HIV.

However, my question was also not directed only to the individual who wrote in but also to the larger readership. Almost daily, we receive emails from people reporting they were newly diagnosed with HIV and thought they were recently infected. In the US, as I stated, many are people who were not infected when the condom broke or via an assault or unfaithful lover. As a clinician who is also working on prevention of HIV, I truly am interested in just how and why people who place themselves at risk do so. After so many posts from individuals reporting similar stories of recent infection, HIV rates in the US that seem to be anything but decreasing and encountering more than enough newly diagnosed HIV in my own clinic, not asking the question is to ignore the proverbial 800 pound gorilla sitting before us but strangely unmentioned.

DW



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