|A light at the end of the tunnel
Jul 21, 2004
Hi Dr. Bob, anxiety sure is a controlling thing these days. I was very worried after having performed oral sex on a female (i'm male).Oral sex is the most that i have done. All i thought about was the fact that i had aids and i never sat back,took a deep breath and thought with a rational mind. I went with the person when they went to take their aids test(2 years after exposure), and then i went with them 2 weeks later for the results and they were non reactive. Everyone should take precautions but if you let anxiety take over it will.
Also wanted to tell you about a friend of mine that works in a lab as a disease researcher.Even though there are many people frustrated right now since there is not a cure for aids, he did speak with a very optimistic attitude.He said that many of his colleagues(not just a few) believe that within 5 years great things are going to happen with the fight against aids. He said at the very least,medicines are going to keep people who have aids alive much longer.When i say much longer i mean much much longer. My friend stressed that nothing is guaranteed but researchers have seen signs of getting closer to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. To me this is great news for people with aids. My friend honestly believes that they are close,not quite there yet but very close to allowing a person who gets aids in their 20's, the chance to live well into their 80's. In other words,aids patients will live a full life. He stressed that their is a good chance that we see it within 5 years.He said it will happen one day and they think it will happen sooner rather than later.His exact words were "Science is progressing at an amazing rate,it's just a matter of time". I hope we do see it soon. I wanted to spread this along to those that are living with aids so they know that people are working hard and there is hope and it may not be that far off.Hopefully this message will brighten someones day who is living with aids,including Dr. B.
I also just mailed a donation to the foundation for $100. It doesnt sound like much but its all i could spare right now since i have alot of debt. I hope to make a huge donation one day when i can afford it.
| Response from Dr. Frascino
First off, congratulations on your negative HIV test. I'm assuming you had an HIV test when you "went with the person when they went to take their AIDS test" right? Next, I absolutely agree with your comments on anxiety!
Regarding your friend's predictions, I'll make just a few comments. I'm probably the most optimistic person on the planet, but as a board-certified immunologist who has been intimately involved with human immunodeficiency virus for over two decades, I'm also a realist. I totally agree "science is progressing at any amazing rate;" unfortunately, so is the HIV pandemic. Yes, "it's just a matter of time." However, "time" is exactly what the 40 million people worldwide who are today infected with this hideous plague don't have! "Medicines to keep people who have AIDS alive much longer" are already here today. Those of us benefiting form these potent new therapies are indeed thankful. However, these agents can be extremely difficult to tolerate, due to side effects and toxicities. From personal experience, I can tell you kidney stones, peripheral neuropathy, lipoatrophy, incapacitating fatigue, erythema multiforme, and a whole host of other drug-related horrors are far from pleasurable, life-enhancing experiences. But I'm certainly not complaining. In many ways, I'm here on borrowed time, for which I am eternally grateful. People are indeed working hard and yes, there is hope. There always is hope. There may even be a miracle on the horizon. What we must all remember though is that when looking at a sunset or sunrise, one can never really be sure how close or far away the horizon really is. So rather than sitting idly by, hoping that optimistic predictions may one day come true, it's actions like your generous donation that will significant impact the HIV pandemic today. The $100 may not sound like much to you, but I can assure you it's a miracle come true to those in need.
Stay well, Tom. Thanks for being a miracle worker. Your actions are what keep hope (and people) alive!
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