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Ignorance and HIV
Jan 23, 2006

I live in Ohio and have a friend that says he would never touch anyone HIV+ or indirectly touch something an HIV+ person has touched. I have told him that he probably does this all the time when he is in public. He tells me that HIV isn't really as common as the statistics say and that there isn't much of it in Ohio. Help me educate him (as well as others) here.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Refuses to touch anyone HIV+ or indirectly touch something an HIV+ person has touched???? Hmmm . . . no wonder Bush (sort of) beat Kerry in Ohio in 2004. Your friend doesn't believe statistics, suspends reality about the threat of HIV in his own backyard and has a completely irrational approach to avoiding becoming infected. Yep, that has Republican mindset written all over it.

It's difficult to educate against a belief system. Facts, and even common sense, may not help bring your friend back to reality. He's created his own parallel universe. Unfortunately he's like the 22% of Americans who, despite facts, still "believe" Iraq and Saddam Hussein had something to do with the attacks on 9/11.

The best you can do is talk to your friend and educate those around him who may not have such closed minds. You can access a wide variety of educational tools from links on this site. Also, if you are anywhere near Oberlin, Ohio, Steve (Dr. Steve in The Body's Tratamientos forum) and I will be giving a lecture at Oberlin College on Feb. 28th entitled "Life. Love. Sex. AIDS. (And other unscheduled events.) A personal view of HIV/AIDS from both sides of the examination table." Perhaps you could bring your friend. Perhaps as an HIV-positive person, I will be able to "touch" him in some way other than physically. We are bringing four sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt with us for this presentation. Viewing the Quilt is an excellent way to melt away even the toughest and most callous shells of denial.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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