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My Friend Needs Help
Oct 9, 2007

Hi Doctor,

I'm writing to get in contact with you because my friend needs help. He was diagnosed with HIV in November of 2006 through unprotected sex. He has come to terms with his status, but is not currently taking medications on the advice of his doctors at Kaiser in San Francisco. I think it would be good for him to talk to a gay doctor (i.e. you) because he has alot of questions and uncertainty about medications (which ones, how they work, side effects, etc.). I also think he needs to talk to someone who isn't just another doctor. From reading your posts and learning about your organization, you seem like a great guy. I don't know if you meet with people, or give lectures where people would have the chance to meet with you, but you're both local (he lives near Dolores Park), and he's really a great guy... Just confused and scared (he's 23) - scared not of death, but scared of the uncertainty of the situation he's in. I know there's TONS of support for HIV positive people in SF, but if you're ever up here for a drink, etc. I think it would be great for him to sit down with a doctor in a non-medical setting, so he can really understand what's going on inside of his body. He's very intelligent, but as you know, the amount of information about HIV on the net can be overwhelming. Your no-nonsense, optimistic attitude toward the disease is great... Anyway, this message doesn't need to be posted on the board. I just wanted to see what your schedule is like, etc. His name is Conor, and like I said, a great guy. We're both fun too. I look forward to hearing from you, but understand if you are busy. Thanks again,

Sincerely, Sander

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Sander,

Thanks for your kind comments. Yes, I do frequently give talks to HIV poz groups where folks can ask questions; however, as far as just meeting on a one-on-one basis to provide information or reassurance, that is unfortunately not physically or logistically possible. I've already given up eating and sleeping to keep up with my current schedule demands. (The only thing left is sex and I refuse to give that up.) I would hope that your buddy would avail himself of the information on this site. That's exactly what we are all here for! Alternatively, if he needs a second opinion or additional information and reassurance not provided by his current health plan, he could come to the Frascino Medical Group (650-917-1357), because, as you mentioned, we are local. Your buddy, Conor, is relatively recently diagnosed and it is easy to feel overwhelmed as he confronts his new reality as a "virally enhanced" individual. Advise him a period of adjustment is to be expected. He should continue to learn more about HIV from his HIV specialist and reliable HIV information sources, like this Web site and related links. Knowledge is indeed power. As much as I would like to walk through this entire process with each and every person, unfortunately the best I can realistically offer is just being "here."

Good luck to you both.

Dr. Bob



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