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cheers Doc!!
Jul 29, 2006

Hey Doc... I dont really have a question cuz I think reading through the forum, I have already found the answers..Nonetheless, I just want 2 tell you that you r a grand chap.. im sure there is a place in heaven for you due to the things you do for desperate people trying 2 find a little comfort... When will this HIV-nightmare be over?? Why the Lord put this terrible disease amongst us?? thks 4 your time mate, b strong and never give in... Fear no darkness..

John from Colombia..

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi John,

Darkness shouldn't be frightening, but rather peaceful and thought of as the harbinger of a bright new tomorrow full of promise and possibilities.

When will the HIV nightmare be over? That will depend on science and the political will to expend the resources necessary to conquer the virus. If we could rewind the past 25 years and give HIV/AIDS the attention, funding and scientific resources it demanded, chances are the pandemic today, if it even existed, would be minimal and well controlled. But looking backward isn't all that helpful, considering HIV/AIDS today is still not getting the attention and resources it needs. The epidemic remains dynamic and volatile around the globe. There is much we should have done in the past, and likewise much that we should be doing today. Unfortunately the policies of our current administration are using HIV/AIDS as a political tool to foster a political agenda large amounts of federal dollars are being shunted into faith-based programs that have little experience in combating HIV/AIDS. In fact, some seem more intent on saving souls than saving lives. Bush's anti-condom stance is also hampering HIV prevention efforts worldwide. So, when will the nightmare end? I don't know. But I can say it would end sooner if we did what clearly needs to be done: better prevention efforts stressing condoms, anonymous testing, access to affordable treatment worldwide, curtailing stigmatization associated with the illness, etc. We should have done this 25 years ago. We should still do it today. There's an old African proverb that explains my sentiment on this topic:

"The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is now."

Finally, as we work toward doing what needs to be done, even in the fact of overwhelming adversity, I believe there is a way to succeed in one's personal life. Ralph Waldo Emerson summed it up best when he wrote:

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have found this philosophy works well for me, even at times when I'm surrounded by darkness.

Stay well, John.

Dr. Bob



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