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Apr 27, 2003

Good Morning Dr.

I will not bore you with a question like This : I got a Hand job, and maybe she had a cut on her hand, and what if Mr happy came in contact with some vaginal fluid she might had on her hand 3 hours ago, or might not I am not sure/ But maybe she did after spending 5 days of no sleep thinking abou it. And Oh my god she is a prostitue so she must have HIV. Oh my god or even worse full blown AIDS/

And I wont tell I got tested about 10 times in the past few months. Because of all the guilt I was feeling. Then I realize that I have a 1 in a 10 000 chances of getting something/ And what if I have something and gave it to my wife that I love and adore but made the mistake. But after an other 5 nights of no sleep, what if I am that 1 in 10 000. .... .... .... .... ( ... = Many sleepless nights) just to realize that I need help. But not from an MD. Maybe from a psy, or C.S.W. But I am sure that a common story.

This is my question:

-How Do YOU feel as an Hiv + person ( were you have a 3 chance of getting infected and got infected , from a needlestick) that they will be OK, and there chance is only theoretical ?

-Did it take you a long time to be so comfortable with the virus. Do you ever loose sleep over it, or are just thankfull for the day that you have ?

-How do you feel physically ?

I thank you in advance for the response, and I will send a donation.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Yes, your common story is much more common than anyone can possibly imagine! If I posted them all, Id probably cause a jam on the information superhighway and clog up the entire Internet.

How do I feel? Well, its true; an occupational exposure like mine carries a risk of approximately 1 in 300. I happened to be that one. Ive always tended to be lucky when it comes to winning lotteries or prizes. Unfortunately, this isnt one I particularly wanted to win! So how do I feel? Well, some days good, some days not so good; however, I always feel optimistic and I feel incredibly alive!

Did it take a long time for me to be comfortable with the virus? Well, learning to cohabitate with an unwelcome intruder who would like to destroy you does take a bit of getting used to. However, I was an HIV/AIDS specialist for a number of years before I contracted the virus, so I knew this enemy very well. HIV does tend to divide ones life into "before" and "after." Before, I was the HIV physician providing care. Once infected, I had to realize I would eventually be the patient the one who eventually would need care. HIV disease is quite different, depending which side of the examination table you happen to be on patient vs. doctor! My adjustment was typical of everyones shock, anger, grief, and then acceptance, in relatively short order. I then moved form acceptance on to action and decided to continue fighting AIDS in a variety of ways.

How do I feel physically? Again, there are good days and not so good days. I focus on the good days. Sure, Ive had kidney stones, peripheral neuropathy, lipodystrophy, severe allergic reactions to medications, and a variety of other problems over the years, but Ive also had incredible happiness, a phenomenal partner and lover to share my life with, remarkably rewarding experiences, travel adventures, a loving pet, the gift of music, and an amazing group of friends and family. I have no complaints, or at least none that I would choose to complain about.

Many thanks for your donation. I promise it will touch many lives. Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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