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Trouble in San Francisco
May 29, 2006

Hi, I recently visited SF on business and could not believe the number of homeless people around union square and up on Market St near the Renoir Hotel. There was one man who had a sign reading "Have AIDS, please donate". He had KS lesions on his forehead.

Don't get me wrong I think your city is truly beautiful - is that why so many people down and out of luck seem to congregate there?

Thanks, Philly Guy.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Philly Guy,

As you probably know, almost everyone who visits S.F. leaves their heart here. Just ask Tony Bennett! (Historical note: That tune was written by a gay composer to his male lover. The publisher demanded the gender pronouns be switched!) Both the homeless and hedonistic head here for a wide variety of reasons. The weather is much more hospitable than Philly, for instance, especially if you have to live outside. HIV care and services here have always been considered to be a model for other cities. Also, because this city was hit so hard early in the epidemic, there may well be more tolerance for and understanding of those infected. Experience, education, awareness and the availability of services can decrease the stigma of living with HIV/AIDS, even if you have to live on the streets.

Dr. Bob



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