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Can I Ask A Personal Question?
May 8, 2006

Dear Dr Bob,

You've answered a question for me before, but I'm curious about yourself if you don't mind. This is personal so please feel free not to answer.

You mentioned that you have been HIV+ for over a decade on a response I found. I'm assuming you were a MD before infection, so I'm really confused regarding how you could get infected. I mean, your an expert and surely you have always been really careful with safer sex because of that reason? Was your infection one of those horrible occasions when a condom broke, or are you just human and the passion overtook you and you weren't safe for once? Just really curious Bob; you seem like the one person who shouldn't be infected. I am sorry though, you're a superb person.

James xxxx

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

If you've been a regular visitor to this forum (or even a casual visitor), you have probably noted that I encourage questioners to check the archives, because extremely often the answer to their question(s) is already posted and just waiting for their double click. Believe it or not, that even applies to your question!

I've been positive since January 1991. Condom failure? Nope. Overtaken by passion? Nope. The virus found me while I was working. I sustained a hollow-bore needlestick and deep laceration while performing a medical procedure on a patient with advanced-stage AIDS. Despite taking AZT (the only medication we had for PEP at the time), I seroconverted and became HIV positive. Other details about that event can be found in the archives. The reason I don't mention it often is because I truly believe it doesn't really matter how someone acquires the virus. None of us is any more guilty or innocent than anyone else who never wanted to be infected. So whether someone contracted the illness at work helping others, from a transfusion of tainted blood, from being a newborn infant of an HIV-positive mother or from an intimate experience when someone felt all they were sharing was love and passion, it really doesn't matter. The mere fact that you were curious as to how "someone like Dr. Bob" could possibly get infected demonstrates that many folks still harbor deep-seated feelings about HIV.

As for me, being the one person who shouldn't be infected, no I disagree. The virus is an equal-opportunity infecter! I'm neither more immune nor more susceptible than anyone else on the planet.

Stay well, James.

Dr. Bob



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