Mar 21, 2005
Dr. Bob, Ok, last try at this. I was sitting here typing with my daughter on my lap and she kinda likes the keyboard and has refreshed the page (or accidentally sent?) this twice. Now she's down and i can type. This is for everyone out there who is stressing out. I too, was one of those people. After a freak exposure to some body fluids, and symptoms after one month i became stressed out and was sure i was positive for HIV. My 5-6 week test came back negative. I was fine for a few days, then started feeling ill again and started reading. BAD MOVE! I developed more symptoms, stressed myself out, and found other symptoms i did not previously know about. Fortunately, I have a loving wife who has been my rock through this all. I'm sure everyone out there has somebody they can find comfort in. But one word of advice: DON'T bombard them with HIV related topics. I did this, and my wife became very annoyed. What i found works well now is a daily journal. I write everything in there, from what my symptoms are like to what my day was like. It's a great way to get things out and help forget about your HIV testing. I also took my wife for a night out at a luxurious Inn with a jacuzzi, a fabulous dinner and more, even though i couldn't afford it, it was well worth a night away from everything. Enjoy life, don't worry about HIV, it could be worse. I just lost a friend who was 32 years old to cancer, and he was only diagnosed 2 months prior to his death. Kinda puts things in perspective, huh? On top of things, my wife is currently 2 months pregnant, and would have been exposed to HIV by me. We expressed our concerns to her OBGYN, and he told me something that makes sense: Enjoy life, don't worry about it. Great words. Stressing and worrying won't change a test result. I am still going in for my 3 month test, and my wifes bloodwork should be back within a week or so and we should know then. And even if it's HIV positive, I think we will still give life a chance, as we were informed that under medication during pregnancy, there is only a 25% chance the baby will be born positive. We'll have to do some research on quality of life of children born with HIV though to make a definite decision. Anyways, what i'm saying is don't stress out. I've shown almost every symptom, my wife has shown none yet. I could still come back positive after 3 months, but it won't change anything. I now appreciate life more, my family more, and having fun. Live it up. I'm not a religious fanatic, but have found strength in a quote from the bible (I often turn to my faith when i need strenght). And i hope this helps others, here it is: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear invlolves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love." 1 John 4:18 Look at your family, friends and see that you have perfect love. I've written this phrase out and am framing it and putting it on the wall. Hopefully it helps others. So for those of you who are stressing, stop reading, stop worrying, go out and enjoy life. Buy yourself something nice, be nice to somebody else. Do something to treat yourself that you've always wanted to do, even if you can't really afford it. At least with HIV, there is hope, and with proper lifestyle and treatment, you can still live a full good life. So Live it. Thanks Dr. Bob for your inspiration to all of us, and for taking time to answer our questions. Feel free to edit this or post or not if you wish.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Thanks for your comments. By the way, your statistics regarding mother-to-infant transmissions are way off. With proper care and anti-HIV medications, the percentage of HIV-positive mothers passing the virus to their infants is much, much less! The 25% figure is closer to what we would expect without anti-HIV medications!
I'm sending both you and your wife my very best karma that you'll be HIV negative. Congratulations on your expected new arrival!
Finally, if the journal thing isn't comforting enough, consider getting some counseling to help you cope with your fears.
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