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I'm so relieved...

Sep 10, 1997

Dear Michael,

I am the person who sent you a letter a week or 10 days ago about my friend wanting to kill himself before he even knew whether or not he was HIV+ or not. He is a physician and an acupuncturist. That is the letter. Well, after many hellish hours and days and continued supportive conversation, I bought us both a Home Access Express home HIV testing kit. He was paralyzed with fear, as was I. Well, he just called me and his test was negative! I have yet to get my results, but I am not so concerned about myself as I have been pretty careful. I am so thankful that I found your page and could read the sage and sensitive advice and information you gave to those who had written you. Your page really helped me so much and gave me the courage to continue dealing with my beloved friend's mental health issues. Thank you. I will continue to be a supportive friend to him and encourage him to examine the underlying issues which held him in abject fear. Maybe he will come to see therapy as a benign and helpful intervention to help him understand himself better. I just know that I have been really tested lately by needing to stay balanced enough to help him while despairing myself. I thank you again for having the strength and willingness to deal with your own issues, the courage to continue to "hang it out there" in the face of this ravaging plague, and the empathy and will to try to help others. You are an inspiring man, Michael. I wish you light and love and peace in your healing endeavors, and am so grateful at being able to be a happy story in your e-mail.

Response from Mr. Shernoff

Thanks so much for writing again and letting me know how this turned out. It is not often that someone is thoughtful enough to provide the feedback. Also many thanks for your kind words and supportive wishes. Stay well.

A Rennaisance of Hope
Mental effects 2

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