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The Next Day!
Dec 22, 1999

It's me the Grandmaother again writer of Scared to death..It's the morning after I found out my grandbaby has HIV. I have cried all night until I finally feel asleep and woke up only to find that this was not just a bad dream. I can't go to work because I can't stop crying...I can hardly see through my tears to write this. My eyes are swollen almost shut. All I can think about is my babies are going to die! As it stand today people who test HIV positive will DIE and thats the cold hard truth. She will never grow up! My son who is 21 and manic drepressive does not know yet and I will have to tell him. I am afraid of what he might do when he finds out. I think he will get suicidal and try to kill himself. I don't blame him as I am normally a strong person but I am not doing well. I hope to be able to pull myself together so I can wait until after christmas to tell my son. The Baby has an appointment this coming Wednesday to see the Doctor and I am going to go with her so I can find out what her T-Cells are and what stage she is in before I tell my son. The Mother is HIV positive too and her T-Cells are down to 250...she is already sick...she ask me yesterday when she told me about the baby, when she dies will I take care of the baby. We are waiting on my sons test results but thay will not be back until next week...I think I am having a nervous break down. I have always helped my children out of any mess they were in but this I am hopeless... I can't save them......This doesn't happen to people you love only to strangers!

Response from Mr. Shernoff

For beginners try to remember that today with proper care and people being very adherent to their medication schedule AIDS is rarely a death sentence, even for children. So try to calm down and not jump ahead to a worst possible case scenario. These kinds of tragedies do indeed happen to the best of familes. Please try to find a support group where you can get advice, support, help and companionship to cope with the difficulties that are in store for you and your family. Michael Shernoff, MSW



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