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When Will It End?
Oct 13, 2003

Hi Dr. B,

There was a time, many years ago, when people could enjoy sex. UNprotected. Without guilt. Now, as it has been for a couple of decades, everyone should wear rubbers or they will be sorry. Or at least test their partner and NOT cheat so as to avoid infecting them unwittingly with hiv.

I will not bore you with my story. I am a man who has made good choices and bad ones. I want to live my life foward. Yet, after unprotected insertive sex with a women I got flu like symptoms. Mind you, my immune system is a strong one. I am around many sick people every day and rarely get ill. So when I got ars symptoms after the sexcapade, i just know it is hiv. It's a gut feeling, and is destroying me. Killing me softly. I actually had the guts to go to a doc. if not to get hte test. He said that those in the med community look at symptoms AND duration/timing of them. SO there is a lot of info on ars and though it does vary from one person to the next, doc says experiencing them days later (I was ill two days after and felt uneasy for many weeks) is a sign it was either CMV or EBV. But I resarched EBV on the net and it doesnt include vomiting which is what i had for some time.

Anyway, my quesiton is do you think the preventative vaccine which from what those at nih say WILL be here in 2010 (apparently, a therapeutic vax will be here earlier, if not an exact science), will allow people to enjoy sex again without the dangers of stds that cant be cured or will we have another hiv-like disease to worry about? btw i am hoping we will cure hiv by 2010 i think it will happen (we have managed to turn it from death sentence to managable illness so it appears their are weaknesses to the virus medicine can exploit) if we spend more money on research and less on war. Decades from now, when hiv is a curable condition, people will read the history books and shake their heads as they see how much time and money was wasted on such pathetic acuses like warfare which only beget more wars instead of spending money on hiring more researchers and paying for clinical trials for diseases like hiv and cancer. our own president's sister had cancer you wuld lthink this would make curing it a priority. nope. sorry for the diatribe.

Thank you and God Bless you and your organization. I have some old comic books some of them very valuable if they can be used for auction to benefit.

Perry

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Perry!

Thanks for writing. First off, if you are a regular reader of this forum, you should know that trying to self diagnose HIV disease based on symptoms is futile and consistently inaccurate. If you haven't been a regular reader, please refer to the archives and carefully read the gazillion posts from folks that had sexcapades and "all the classic symptoms" who, when tested, were HIV-negative!

Getting ARS symptoms 2 days after exposure leads me to believe HIV is not the cause of your problems. Also, vomiting is not a common ARS symptom. Never mind the hypothetical vaccine questions. Get your butt back to the doctor and get tested. HIV is not killing you softly; your anxiety is.

Briefly, the HIV vaccine story (therapeutic and preventative) is complex and slowly evolving. The 2010 date may be overly optimistic based on recent setbacks, but then again, none of us has a crystal ball, so let's hope! Certainly more research money would seem logical, and is desperately needed. However, HIV/AIDS is no longer considered a "threat." This, of course, is shortsighted and dead wrong. The HIV/AIDS pandemic is a "clear and present danger" of almost unimaginable scope. The epidemic remains dynamic and volatile. You're right: the history books will not look back kindly on our response to this human tragedy.

Will we ever enjoy the good old days of sex without the danger of STD's? No, those days actually never existed. We were just lucky for a few decades. That's all.

Finally, The Foundation would be delighted to auction off your classic comics! Our next major event is scheduled for November 23rd (A Concerted Effort 2003: A Concert for World AIDS Day).

Donations can be sent directly to The Foundation:

The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation 779 Altos Oaks Drive, Suite 200 Los Altos, CA 94024

Good luck. Get tested. I'll be waiting for your WOO-HOO good news. Instead of "Killing Me Softly . . . ," you'll be singing, "Zippidy do dah, zippidy eh. My oh my what a wonderful day!"

Dr. Bob



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