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Re: Afriad of my qustions
Sep 11, 2006

Dr. Bob

Thank you for answering my questions. I didn't mean to sound the way I may have come across. I was scared, which anyone would have been. And for a long time no one would answer my questions-

My cosuin died of Aids back in 92, My mom took care of him. I know how much HIV and AIDS affects all of our lives (even those that are negative)

In school we are taught the basic, but thats all we were taught. Today that is also all that is taught, I think there needs to be more eduction and awareness in our schools. All we need to do is give Bush a blow job- so we can impeach him. Maybe then issue like this will get the attention they deserve.

I pray everyday for those with HIV and AIDS, my hope is that through education, word of mouth, awareness and protection that we can reduce the numbers infected.

I don't want my daughter growing up afriad of this, I want her to grow up with the education that I did't get.

To all those infected, Stay strong and be well.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You're welcome. I'll just make a few quick comments:

1. We are not afraid to address any issue. The important point I wanted to stress was that the answers you so desperately were waiting for were in reality already waiting for you in the archives, as is so often the case. Receiving thousands of questions on a continuous basis from around the globe, logistically I can only respond to a small number. Consequently I urge folks to search the archives rather than get increasingly anxious waiting for a personal response from me.

2. I agree Bush's push for abstinence-only sex education is shameful and that it ultimately places our children at greater risk for STDs, including HIV. (See the post below, also from the archives, I might add!) If you want your daughter to have the education you did not get, I suggest you band together with other like-minded parents and demand age-appropriate, science-based sex education! To prevent your daughter from growing up uninformed, get involved and demand change. (Voting Republicans out of office in November is a good place to start.)

I'll also reprint your original question below.

Stay well.

Dr. Bob

Abstinence-Only Sed Education

Jul 29, 2006

Hey Dr. Bob,

Apparently Dubya is still pouring money into Abstinence-only sex education. Does this work or is "The Decider" wrong about this just as he's been so wrong about everything else?

Thanks for keeping it real Dr. Bob

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Well, if there is one thing we all know all too well about Dubya's simplistic view of life it's that he values consistency. The man has never changed his mind about anything, much to the detriment of world peace, the economy, the environment and HIV-prevention efforts. Yes, Dubya is consistent. Too bad it's consistently wrong. The abstinence-only sex education policy is just one more shining example of his ineptitude and its unfortunate consequences. Here's the scoop:

The U.S. has supported abstinence-only programs to prevent unwanted teen pregnancies since 1981. Under Dubya's rule such programs have expanded dramatically to encompass HIV/AIDS and STD prevention. Dubya then forced this policy on the international community in 2003 with the implementation of his "President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)", which categorically mandates that one third of all prevention dollars allocated to 15 focus countries be earmarked for "abstinence-only" programs! Shocking, eh?

In the U.S., funding for abstinence-only programs has increased from $80 million in 2001 to $167 million in 2005. It is the cornerstone of the government's HIV-prevention strategy (or, as Dubya calls it, "strategery"). So is it successful? Does it stack up favorably to other prevention methods for which there are no targeted federal programs or funding? Let's take a look!

First I should remind everyone what abstinence-only programs really are. These programs teach "no sexual intercourse until marriage". (As an aside please note that since Dubya doesn't want gays like me to ever marry, I guess that means I should never have sex.) These federally funded programs must, by definition, have as their "exclusive purpose, teaching the social, psychological and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity until marriage" and must teach "that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of human sexual activity" and that "sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects!!!" (No shit. I'm not making this stuff up, even though it sounds like a Jon Stewart Daily Show parody!) These programs are also prohibited from discussing contraception or STD prevention technologies, such as condoms, except in reference to their failure rates!!!!

There are also "abstinence-plus" programs. These programs strongly encourage abstinence among young people, but also provide information about contraception and STD-risk reduction. In addition to endorsing delay of sexual debut, abstinence-plus programs aim to increase knowledge about the use of contraception and disease-prevention methods among those who do become sexually active. A scientifically rigorous evaluation of the efficacy of these programs has not been formally carried out. Some studies have tried to objectively assess these programs, but most have measured only attitudinal, rather than behavioral, outcomes. At best, the key behavioral outcome would suggest these programs might delay sexual debut by 12 to 18 months tops.

The results from a systemic review, in which data and outcomes from several studies are combined and analyzed together, have yielded the following results:

1. The most rigorous published review to date (28 sex education programs in the U.S. and Canada) found that none of the three "abstinence-only" programs demonstrated evidence of efficacy for delaying initial sexual activity.

2. Furthermore these three programs did not reduce the frequency of sex or the number of sex partners among those students who had sex.

3. The same review found the nine "abstinence-plus" programs showed efficacy in delaying initial sexual activity as well as reducing the frequency of intercourse and increasing condom use once sex began. 4. A different systemic review of the efficacy of AIDS-risk-reduction interventions for adolescents found that only two out of six studies showed any efficacy in delaying initial sexual activity among virgins and an increase in "secondary" abstinence (return to abstinence) among those who had been sexually active.

5. A review of 11 school-based HIV-prevention programs for youth in Africa fond only one program was effective in delaying initial sexual activity.

6. There was no significant difference in STD rates between "virginity pledgers" and non-pledgers.

Taken in total, the scientific data we have to date does not support Dubya's current policy of making "abstinence-only-until-marriage" programs the cornerstone of the U.S. government's HIV-prevention strategy for young people. Nor does it support the rapid and dramatic increase in funding to promote these programs in the U.S. or globally. Rather, the scientific evidence suggests that investing in comprehensive sex education that includes support for abstinence, but also provides risk-reduction information would be a more effective HIV-prevention strategy for youth.

So, once again, our immutable president, "The Decider," has decided wrongly!

Dr. Bob

Afriad of my questions?

Aug 19, 2006

Hello~

I have a long story but will make it short and to the point. I have had two False positive ELSA test results (1st pregnant 2nd a reccent vaccination) I have had 4 NEGATIVE Western blot results (I have had the same parnter since 2002 and he is negative. My aunt has also had a Fasle postive HIV ELSA test.

My questions are 1. Is there something wrong with the women in my family, that we have these results. 2. Will my daughter be the same way (is this heredity) 3.I'm scared to have another child becasue i don't want to live through this again. Will this happen again 4. Why me! Why does this happen.

I know I am blessed and lucky to be negative but why is everyone is afraid to answer why and afriad to inform ppl that false-positive results happen.

Thanks so much

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

No, we are certainly not afraid of your questions. In fact, they've been addressed multiple times in the archives. Have a look! I'll also reprint a recent archival post below.

To briefly specifically address your questions:

1. No, there is nothing wrong with you or the women in your family. It's primarily a limitation of the testing assay that picks up cross-reacting proteins that can occur in women who are or who have been pregnant. These cross-reacting proteins cause the HIV-antibody test to read positive or indeterminate (in the case of some Western Blots), even though the person is HIV negative. That's why we call it a "false-positive". Other tests can easily and definitively differentiate a true- from a false-positive (see below).

2. Perhaps, although it has nothing to do with heredity.

3. Why be scared of a false-positive test when you know you are HIV negative? Don't be a ninny. Will it happen again?: probably, but you already know what it is and how to differentiate a true- from a false-positive test, so this certainly should not be a deterrent to your having children! Frevinsakes!

4. Why you? Lady, this does not only happen to you and it's no big deal. You are HIV negative. Stop whining over the limitations of the test and try having an ounce of compassion for the over 40,000,000 true HIV-positive folks (me included) who would love to have your problems!

Dr. Bob

false positive/can you explain?

Aug 14, 2006

during my pregnancy i was tested for hiv. the ELISA was positive and the western blot came back negative. ive been a blood donar for 3 years and never had a problem until i donated 6 months after i had my baby and they rejected me since the results for hiv 1/2 antibodies came back positive and the confirmatory came back inconclusive. i havent had any intercourse for more than a year so i couldnt have recently been infected. why is the conformatory still inconclusive? is there always going to be a false postive from now on? and is my baby going to have false postives as well? i recently donated to the red cross and they replied that i can no longer donate blood. my test results:

HIV-1/2 ANTIBODIES=POSITIVE

HIV-1 CONFIRMATORY=INDETERMINATE

HIV-2ANTIBODY=NEGATIVE

NUCLEIC ACID TEST MULTIPLEX FOR HIV/HCV=NEGATIVE

what does this mean? am i HIV positve or negative? why does an indeterminate result occur? this never happened before when i donated. i had a baby 6 months ago. could this be the reason why? during pregnancy i was also tested for HIV and the ELISA was positive and the Wblot was negative. please help. im worried.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I've combined your two questions.

You are HIV negative.

Pregnancy causes a number of changes in the immune system and these changes can affect HIV-antibody-based test results. False-positive ELISA and/or Western Blot tests occur more frequently in women who are pregnant or who have had multiple pregnancies. Most often in these cases the Western Blot is indeterminate, as is the case with your test, rather than definitively positive. A non-antibody HIV test, such as a NAT or PCR, can be helpful to sort out true from false positives. Your NAT was negative. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. OK?

Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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