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Lacking Support
Dec 21, 2007

I have been positive for 7 yrs. I know when I was infected and tested soon after. I have adult daughters and parents who live miles away. I am 55, a straight woman. My daughters literally yelled at me when I told them I was positive-I'm sure it was because they don't want to lose their mom. The rest of my family knows....my mom told me to get over myself because it is not a death sentence anymore. My friends are sympathetic if I bring it up. My family does want to hear anything about it. I live in a small town. I am also a recovering addict/alcoholic who attends a 12 step group. Those that know there seem to avoid any personal contact with me-not speaking of dating-which is nil but they seem to be uneducated and keep a distance. We have an Aids clinic in the next town over but for reasons that involves too much time and energy and too long a story (involving a predator and charges brought against him which resulted in his probation and distance parameters) I am unable to attend the support group there.

I have found little to no support online as far as emotional support.

I am disabled due to other reasons and I am Bi-polar as well...low income...you name it.

I would like very much to gain a support system. I am at a loss as to how to get that. Reminding you that I live in a small town in the deep south, with deep southern stigma etc. I have found nothing that could help me with the daily living with this disease as far as emotional support. I am not on any meds yet...which is amazing! But I need people.

Thank you for any ideas and support you can offer!

Sincerely, A lonely older woman.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Lonely Older Woman,

HIV-positive, recovering addict/alcoholic, bipolar, "disabled due to other reasons," and you live in the Deep South with deep southern stigma??? Hmm . . . somehow I'm not surprised you are finding it difficult to find emotional support! Since I don't know where you are writing from, the best I can do is offer general advice. First check with your HIV/AIDS specialist physician. He or she should be aware of the various resources available in your area that might be of help. Second, try calling the AIDS service organizations in your area. Just Google "AIDS service organizations" and the name of your nearest cities or towns. A list should pop up. Try calling them and asking what services are available in your area. If all else fails, have you considered relocating to a more enlightened and compassionate environment?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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