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Thank you!

Sep 28, 2003

A thank you was in order for you! I am writing this to thank you for all the info you give us on this site. I know this won't get posted (no need to!)but I did want to thank you! Your answers are thoughtful, useful and informative. Rare to find docs like you on the internet who will tell it like it is and still provide comfort. And to boot you're a clasically trained pianist who is also an uber-doc! God only knows what else you're good at -- let me guess -- accomplished painter or sculptor. Whatever. Your answer to the nurse-in-training about the bloody poop in the eye ordeal was absolutely and undeniably the funniest thing I have ever read. You really should write a book! No....I mean it. You really should. Thanks for putting out the info on the gray area of HIV transmission through oral sex (as well as other info on safer sex). Seems there's a lot of conflicting opinions in the U.S. on what exactly to do with this damn oral sex thing. I know it is a concern for me and I know many of my gay bretheren are wondering about the same oral sex issue. Too bad the U.S. stance on oral sex can't be more like Canada or Australia. I know there are no guarantees on this issue, however, even a nervous nelly like me (who is employed as a marketing research analyst) thinks the U.S. should ease up on this oral sex issue -- particularly when it comes to gay men and oral sex. We've enough to deal with. A lot of the info out there on oral sex can be rather faulty and misleading -- post hoc interviewing and the like -- a place where much of the controversy lies. It's too bad readers in general really don't understand that you really can't rely on small studies that employ simple post hoc interviewing for behavioral data. It's simply bad math yet the media and study authors are more than willing to get that article out there! The people who published the infamous SF study (that claimed 7-8 HIV transmissions through oral sex) should have thought things through a little bit more. I would have been fired from my job releasing unreliable behavioral data like that. (OK I'm being dramatic [my friends do fathom that I am dramatic!], I wouldn't have been fired but I would have been clearly reprimanded). I know intentions were worthy but at some point, it's probably doing a lot more harm than good. People really should be looking at studies like the Vanguard study, the MAC study, the HOT study and even the one from Spain that was recently published. Pretty compelling and dare I say it..convincing stuff. It's amazing that an issue like this has become so politicized. I know more needs to be done on this issue but at least we are heading in what seems to be the right direction in terms of the studies that are being done. And the data we are discovering seems to be moving in a direction that most of us want it to. Unprotected oral sex is indeed NOT 100 safe but clearly it is even lower risk (and maybe exceedingly lower) than what was once thought. This is what we gay men not only WANT to hear but NEED to hear. I think it makes a HUGE difference when we are trying to make decisions on what line we'll draw in the sand when it comes to safe or safer sex. I'm blathering! OK so I'm a little paranoid that STRAIGHT BIG BROTHER watches us gay folk too closely and that we are still being morally judged on what we do in the sac (and out of the sac for that matter)! Anydoodles, please do keep up the great work! I do appreciate the expert advice you have to offer! Be well and thanks again! Sincerely, Kevin

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Kevin,

You make some excellent points. Thanks for blathering, -- I mean writing! As for "Straight Big Brother," I can tell you from the thousands and thousands of e-mail questions I get, they are no different than any of us "in the sac." They also have an equal capacity for irrational fear and unwarranted excessive worry over possible HIV infection. Now, "out of the sac," they may not have our fashion sense or our "cosmic fabulousity." And yes, unfortunately they can, at times, be a bit on the judgmental side, but we can always hope for enlightenment. If all else fails, we can always send the Fab Five to judge them (and give them a much-needed makeover!)

Stay well.


19 yr old & You said: If your partner were confirmed to be HIV-positive, the risk would be 0.1 to 0.2 percent per episode
hand shake

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