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black male; feel I'm being ignored by doctors
Jan 19, 2005

Doctor Frascino,

I'm a 22 year black male. In August 17, 2004 I had unprotected oral sex with a woman (we both gave and received)and protected vaginal sex. I got sick with the mono virus back in November of 2004. I wasn't TRUELY diagnosed until after 3 weeks of suffering from it. I felt the entire time I wasn't being taken care of fairly as everyone else. Infact, I didn't even see my primary doctor until a month later. The whole time I was seeing one of his assistant physicians. What makes it worst is that I even mentioned the possibility of mononucleosis or HIV as the reason of my illness, but she did nothing about it. FINALLY, a week later for a follow up appointment I told her again and she took a blood test, which was positive for mono. She acted as if she was shocked. Back in December I insisted on an HIV test and it was negative. Even though I received the good news, I was still worried that I might have sero-converted because I developed what seemed to be a sinus infection, along with a severe case of canker sores.

Two weeks ago I saw my primary doctor AGAIN, which kind of threw me for a loop because he never sees me. What's strange is that he has no personality around me, but he seems very nice around others (non-black), and believe me I've seen him around others not like me. He took another CBC and said my blood looked really good, and not anything that seemed "life threatening." Just for a second opinion, he sent me to a infectious disease doctor. She also seemed to not have a care in the world for me. Didn't seem comforting at all. She took another CBC test for herself so she would have a current status report. She said my labs looked "excellent" and that I should have nothing to be worried about, even though I didn't have another HIV test. But I'm curious. Even though she specializes in infectious diseases how would she know it's not HIV just by looking at a CBC test? It's not a specific STD test like HIV or any other disease test. AND, should I consider taking another HIV test at six months from my last possible exposure?

I'm not accusing these individuals of being prejudice because of my race but I can't help but to notice these things. I would like to believe that this isnt the case. I guess it really takes to be in my shoes to fully understand me. AND, I've tried a few times now for your opinions and advice for over two months now--still no answer. I know there's no way you can tell what my ethnicity is through my messages (unless I told you specifically) but I REALLY feel I being ignored. I consider this to be an extremely serious and sensitive subject matter for ALL people, and not just one in particular.

Please Dr., respond. I would send a donation to a foundation somewhere...just tell me how AND where. Thanks.

Afro-American from Ivory

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Afro-American from Ivory,

If you feel your doctor's ignoring you, why not change doctors? That seems like the easiest and most logical solution to your concerns.

Regarding HIV, if your potential exposure was in August, and you tested HIV negative in December, I would consider this to be conclusive. You are correct a CBC can neither diagnose nor rule out an HIV infection. However, perhaps the infectious diseases doctor was considering all your past tests in reaching her decision that another HIV test wasn't warranted.

Prejudice, whether it's based on race, gender, religion or sexual orientation, should never be tolerated. I hope you are soon able to connect with a physician in whom you have more confidence and with whom you can build a better rapport.

Donation information for my foundation can be found on the Foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org.

Dr. Bob



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