What Happened to you Dr. Bob
Jan 8, 2006
Hi Doc, Please please do not get offended by this question...I have been perusing your responses to these questions for a long time now, and I am thoroughly stunned by you compassion, patience and understanding. You cause me to aspire to be a better person. But my question is, how on earth did you become infected? I wasn't aware of this fact until i read your reply to "suicidal with symptoms", and I've been heartbroken since. I pray as i write this that i do not come across as patronizing or pitiful, because you are doing more good with your life than any 100 people i know combined. But I just can't believe somoeone so attractive, smart and sophisticated has to suffer this disease. If you don't mind, can you share your story with us, as we all love you. I'm so impressed with your accomplishments and dedication, despite being positive, as I know if it were me I wouldn't be able to cope, i just don't think i'm strong enough. Please, if you want to tell me to mind my own beeswax and go "f" myself, feel free. Yours, A concerned friend
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Concerned Friend,
No, I'm certainly not offended! Being "virally enhanced" has been such a part of my life for so long, I sometimes forget those who only more recently tuned into the Forum may not realize I'm HIV positive. My story was splashed across the news media TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, medical journals, etc. when I went public with my story a decade ago (1996). In reality I don't believe the manner in which I became infected should matter. I'm no more guilty or innocent than anyone else who never wanted to acquire this scourge! However, I do realize people are curious and that the "story" is out there so I'll briefly mention it to save you the trouble of Googling it. The virus found me while I was working. I sustained a hollow-bore needle puncture and laceration while performing a medical procedure on a patient with advanced-stage AIDS. Despite yelling a few "expletives deleted" and taking AZT (the only thing we had for PEP in January of 1991) within moments of the incident, I seroconverted to HIV positive a few months later. You can search the archives and review additional information in my biography on this site or at The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation Web site (www.concertedeffort.org). I'll also post a recent question that I hope will address your question about being able to cope with adversity.
Your beeswax is always welcomed here.
Dr. Bob, What about you? Sep 6, 2004
Hello Dr. Bob,
I want to start by simply saying thank you for all of the work that you do each day on this site. You bring so much comfort and knowledge to people. You are a very compassionate and caring man. Perhaps it doesn't surprise you that we (your devote fans) are just as caring and concerned about you. Some of us can't help but wonder how you are doing with this disease. What is your status in terms of viral load and CD4? How do you find strength each day to go on? and what can we do for you to help you with this very trying time in your life?
You do not have to answer this if you do not want to. We just simply want to know about someone we love. And I mean that Dr. Bob.
Your Friend Always
Response from Dr. Frascino
What a pleasure to read a question that isn't self-centered and related to a lap dance from a bisexual cross-dressing transsexual Mormon midget! There were so many of those types of questions coming in from New York City last week ahhh, the fools and fanatics of the GOP Convention!!!
The best word for my viral load and CD4 count at the moment would be "stable." How am I doing with the disease? Well, according to the statistics at the time the virus found me in January of 1991, I shouldn't even be here, so I'd say I'm doing quite well. Sure, at times I feel as though I'm living on borrowed time. As I've said before, I really do believe we measure life in the wrong dimension. A life shouldn't be measured merely in length, but rather in depth. In many ways, perhaps because of HIV and the depth of my experiences, I've never felt more alive.
I won't say that cohabitating with HIV is easy. It's not. The drugs that keep me alive are science's classic double-edged sword causing not only great benefits but also some not-so-great side effects. At times I can be so exhausted I need to take a nap before going to bed. Once asleep, I can sometimes have my very own version of a "wet dream," a drenching night sweat that has, on occasion, made me wonder if I should wear a lifejacket and flippers to bed. At times I look at our linen closet and refrigerator, and see that it's now decorated in "nouveau pharmacy" style. Mack trucks deliver my medications in Godzilla-sized containers. Like so many other virally enhanced folks, I've had my fair share of HIV-related complications, but I see no point in dwelling on them. In life, as in playing cards, you can't choose the cards you are dealt, but you can definitely choose how to play these cares. Perhaps that's the real secret of living well on borrowed time. I also freely admit having Steve (Dr. Steve in The Body's Tratamientos Forum) to share life, love, sex, and other unscheduled events makes me the luckiest guy on the planet.
Here is my two-rule manifesto for living well with HIV: 1. "This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. The being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy . . . . Life is no brief candle for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations." George Bernard Shaw
2. Always remember the wise advice of rule number 1. Thanks for your concern and friendship, William. I find that compassion and generosity, when freely given to those in need, is returned a thousand fold.
Stay well, William.
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