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Grr ...you got me mad!
Mar 28, 2004

Dr Bob

Before you press the delete button ....... Please read what I am Grr...ing about.

I am sitting on a ship off Port Hardcourt (for those who don't know there geography outside of USA, it's off the coast of Nigeria in West Africa).

My short storey is that I got a blow job (unprotected) from a local girl about 9 weeks ago. Usual storey pissed, wasn't thinking deeply regret it etc. I went for a test HIV1&2 about 25 days after exposure...Negative. I have another test at 13 weeks,in 4 weeks time when I get home (fingers crossed). I have read just about everything there is about the possibility of infection on every website. Most say the same thing Low risk, possibility if blood present etc. So I am obviously still concerned. What has got me though is that in the past 9 weeks I have through my own selfish act been made to be more interested in finding out about HIV and AIDS because of my exposure. On returning to the ship a couple of weeks ago I spoke to the girls and was horrified to find out just how many people in Nigeria have HIV. Most people here know people with HIV/AIDS or have it themselves. Now you can throw figures about and I knew it was high but being here and seeing it is different.

What's my point? Two really.

1) Get educated and educate others on the risks, take away the illusion that it only can happen to someone else.

2)Get angry like me that not enough is being done by ourselves, by our government or others to control/help this horrible epidemic.

In the USA we're very lucky, science has given us the drugs to help. In Africa HIV is a death sentence. It's a scandle. You can look at as someone else's problem and do nothing or see it for what it really is and like me get educated, get mad and do something.

For all those in the window period reading this and worrying (like I am) don't just turn away when your tests come back (probably negative) and go WoooHoo. Get out there and educate,canvas,donate whatever but get involved.

Thank you for your advice,humour Bob, that has kept me sane over the last few weeks. I hope the test is good for me but if not I can count myself lucky to live in the West.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Gosh, when I read the title of your post, I thought for sure you were going to be a NASCAR-Dad ultra rightwing Republican Christer telling me I would soon be going directly to Hell for my evil "lifestyle." I get a fair number of those. I was pleased to see you turned your personal experience into a positive thing, becoming both educated and enraged! As Paul Rudnick wrote, "Only money, rage, and science can conquer AIDS." He also said, "But only laughter can make the nightmare bearable." I'm trying to work all those aspects raising money, focusing rage, and encouraging scientific progress. And in addition, I try to remember to laugh along the way. I encourage everyone to join me.

Good luck on your upcoming tests. I'll await your good news and further updates on your efforts to battle both the ignorance and apathy that currently surround HIV/AIDS. Welcome to the fight!

Dr. Bob



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