More of a Comment Really...
Sep 22, 2006
Dear Dr F,
Firstly thank you for your site, it was a great help whilst waiting for the results of an HIV test, which thankfully was negative.
This is more a comment than a question really. Over here in the UK, based on reading other peoples posts, I think we have better education on the risks of contracting HIV, i.e. knowing how you can and cannot catch HIV (toilets seats vs anal sex etc)... however, I feel the education campaigns over here are a little too much, basically the (not so well) hidden message between the lines of the pamphlets and websites here is "if you have unprotected sex you will get HIV and you will die from AIDS"... and from my own personal point of view, this put the fear of god into you, and stopped me from getting a test for nearly two years, inspite of knowing inside I was at a minimal risk, being a straight male who has been fairly (but not always) careful about contraception.
I just wondered what your views on this were, from the point of view of someone in America, where (just from my reading of websites over the last week) there seems to be a lack of good quality education.
Also, where should I make a contribution to pay back a little karma!
Response from Dr. Frascino
Congratulations on your negative test!
Regarding HIV awareness and prevention campaigns, my personal preference is merely to tell the truth. No more. No less. The truth is scary enough without embellishing it with gloom-and-doom scenarios. I do believe targeted education programs may be necessary to reach certain populations, but even there, I would suggest we can streamline or focus the message while still being absolutely truthful.
The message, "if you have unprotected sex you will get HIV and you will die from AIDS," is misleading on multiple fronts, as I'm sure you realize by now from reading this site.
As for HIV awareness and education here in the U.S., yes, it is indeed shamefully inadequate as you can determine from the types of questions posted to this forum. Of course, with Dubya, the Rodeo Clown, and Cheney (insert total body shiver here) running (ruining) the country, it's probably no surprise.
Thanks for your kind desire to pay back karma! Donation information for The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation can be found on the Foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org. Our address is:
The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation 1000 Fremont Ave., Suite 145 Los Altos, CA 94024
Stay well, Chris. Cheers!
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