|Ex bigot thanks you
Jul 3, 2005
Dr. Bob, I got my woohoo today. I spent the first 10 weeks agonizing over off and on swollen nodes and sore throats and hating myself for a single unprotected one night stand and the last 4 weeks being rational and realizing that im probably ok but whatever happens, happens. It is one thing for everyone who has a woohoo on this site to say their life has changed and they learned a valuable lesson, then comment about the saint you are. Then I wonder.... If these people were so fearful of HIV when... they sat down on a bench then noticed that their hand touched some hair but it was possible there was some cum and blood on it, then they noticed that their hands were sweaty so their pores were probably open, so the HIV had gotten in. (ok i exaggerate a bit). Then what exactly do they learn? Would they shake the hand of someone who is HIV positive or would they fear transmission? Before my scare I wouldn't even breathe air next to someone if i knew they were positive nor was I to fond of homosexuals... I was ignorant and naive. A single person (yourself) changed all of that and opened my eyes. The experience and knowledge you gave are invaluable, personally now I know not to judge or make assumptions until I know the facts about anything. You are so helpful to all the WW's as well as HIV positive people who lose some of that stigma with each newly educated person in the negative population. What got me over the hump at week 10 was the fact that I realized you took a problem such as HIV and turned it into an opportunity. You are well known and an inspiration to countless people. In a positive way to look at things HIV has done things to enhance your life.... I am a poor college student and my donations are volunteering time instead of financial gifts. I am sorry I can not offer any charity to your org, however, I promise once I start having cashflow your organization will be at the top of my list and until then I will donate my time to causes that will benefit those with HIV. I do have a ? though too. Condoms are around 85 percent effective at reducing the risk of hiv transmission in the real world. If the risk for unprotected is 1 in 1000 does that mean with a condom it is 1 in 1850? Doesn't seem like much of a change does it? Austin
| Response from Dr. Frascino
WOO-HOO! And Congratulations!
I was particularly pleased to read that through this challenging ordeal you learned more than most folks who merely dodge the bullet, yell WOO-HOO and miss the valuable lesson completely! I'm equally delighted you plan to "pay it forward," so to speak. Charity, generosity and efforts to battle HIV are certainly not limited to financial gifts! Helping to eliminate the stigma, ignorance and irrational fears surrounding HIV/AIDS doesn't cost a penny and requires only common sense and compassion.
Regarding your question, it is true that in real life situations, due to all the factors I've discussed at length in this forum previously, condoms are about 85% effective in reducing HIV infection (prevention risk estimate). And true, the estimated per-act risk for acquisition of HIV from receptive penile-vaginal sex is 1 per 1000 exposures to an infected source (transmission risk estimate). However, you can not simply combine two statistical risk estimates in a simple linear equation. The formula is much more complex. The 1-in-1000 statistical estimate assumes no condoms are used and that the exposure is to a source confirmed to be HIV positive. The 85% effectiveness rate for male condoms includes a variety of variables for possible condom failure inconsistent use, improper use, condom breakage, slippage, use of oil-based lubricants, etc. Because these statistics are measuring different aspects of estimated HIV risk (transmission and one aspect of prevention), they are not combinable.
The take-home (or take-to-bed) message from all of this is that latex (and polyurethane) condoms are highly effective in preventing the transmission of HIV/AIDS when used properly.
Stay well, Austin. I'm delighted you are now comfortable breathing the air in my vicinity and realize that a person's worth is not related to his/her sexual orientation.
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