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Concerned soon to be Airman
Sep 15, 2006

Hello again Dr. Frascino,

I'm waiting in delayed entry before going off to Air Force BMT. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Republican and certainly do not agree with the wars that Bush has perpetuated, and wish we'd spend more money on medical research and healthcare and less on invading countries under a cloak of lies. But I also feel a duty to my country, and just hope that we'll have a new democratic congress in the fall to keep the reigns in on Bush.

I wrote you a question a couple months back in which I was concerned about my partners honesty when it came to her HIV status, despite her having a negative ora-quick test. While I agree that my ideas about covering up HIV infection were ridiculous and related to trust issues (Yes, mostly mine like you said), I did get somewhat concerned again when I read that people initiated on early, effective HAART could have false negatives on the Ora-Quick test, according to, strangely, a study done by the Air Force. I never had a "Classic ARS Syndrome" thing, though I did have night sweats without a fever and what I thought might be thrush.

Well, the semi-good news is I had a negative test at just a day shy of 9 weeks, which is not definative, but seemingly a good sign, one done during my MEPS Exam, but I will have another one when I go to basic in a few months. You said before that you didn't think further testing is warranted with her negative test, but I'm terrified at the idea that I could be infected and have a positive test at boot camp, getting a positive HIV test is a tough thing, but getting it in an enviornment that has a problem with homphobia, it would be like a walk of shame on the way home. (To many people in the military, who often come from conservative backgrounds who buy into the right-wing line, it's still a "Gay Plauge" and anyone who gets it must be either a druggie or a "Sinful homosexual". An ignorant view, but a sickenly common one.)

I'm approaching 12-13 weeks now, would it be smart to get another test?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Airman,

My assessment and opinion have not changed and your negative nine-week test adds further evidence to what we already know: HIV is not your problem.

Should you get another test? It's not warranted medically; however, if it will calm your unwarranted worries, it may be worth the effort. It will undoubtedly be negative.

I commend your sense of duty to the country, in spite of the Commander-in-Chief-Rodeo-Clown currently in charge.

I'm also counting on you to do your part to change the "environment" of homophobia in the military. The rightwing Karl Rovian "gay plague," "anyone who gets it must be either a druggie or a sinful homosexual," is indeed "ignorant and sickening," considering we are now 25 years into a global pandemic in which the vast majority of the over-70 million who have contracted this virus did so as a result of good-ol'-boy, routine, missionary position, in-and-out, heterosexual sex! Being conservative is one thing; denying reality is dangerously idiotic.

Stay safe. Stay well. Come home soon.

Dr. Bob



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