The last words from the Omaha Guy- Doc, I hope you read this.
Sep 10, 2008
Id like to think that everything happens for some sort of reason, and every decision we make has a consequence, rather it be good or bad. Over the last 4 months, I have been volunteering at the AIDS project here in order to cure my own anxiety of this utterly horrible virus. Since being there I have met so many whos lives have been changed after finding out that they had been infected with HIV. Some I would say have even been changed for the better. They have given up their days of shooting up and having sex for money, for a steady job and family time. I know many of you out there in internetland have felt such great anxiety over the possibility of having thisthing, and for a variety of reasons. Since I believe that I am finally ready to move on with my life, I will share my story with you, the reason I fear this virus so much. I will be brief. It all started with a tubing trip down a river, and who doesnt love one of those. You could not have asked for a better trip, or a better group to be with, ah my fraternity days. On the last night of the trip, a brother met a girl, she was attractive to say the least. Well the two seemed to hit it off, and they retired to his tent to uhwell use your imagination. Either way, I dont think his girlfriend at the time would have been too happy. The next day all was well, we packed up and headed for home, and my frat brother to his girlfriends place to make it a two-for. About 2 months past and my brother started to have the worst sore throat of his life. He said that it hurt all the way down to his stomach. The Endoscopy told the story; a yeast infection. When he came too, they told him the diagnosis, and he consented to an HIV test. I took him home where he waited two days. The devastating news came on a Tuesday. There I was, smack-dab in the middle of a persons worst nightmare, as I was good friends with not only him, but his soon to be ex-girlfriend. Needless to say she did not take the news well. Three months crawled by and her friends took her to get a test and thankfully, it was negative. Of course she knew she had to wait another three to know for sure. Around September she took the second test at the 6 months mark, negative. Since I was the one how took her, I jumped for joy also. It didnt last. About a year and several months crawled by, and it was Christmas time. I stopped in to her sorority house to talk to her, and they said she was very ill. I scooped her up and several of her sisters went with me to the hospital which was just down the street. She had pneumonia, and it was getting worse. Her parents came immediately, and through a snow storm. They transferred her back to her hometown of Kansas City. Her mother told me that they did the usual antibody test, and it came back negative, but they were skeptical. The PCR test came back reactive. She died on Christmas Morning. I helped carry her casket. My fraternity brother pasted away two weeks ago from Karposis Sarcoma. I also carried his casket. I buried two people claimed by this virus, including one receiving treatment. For all those who read this story, I ask youno I beg you, please get tested, for your own piece of mind and safety. Am I proud of things I did? Hell no Im not proud of having lunch at the Y with 5 women, before I met my one and only. Was it something that most men have done? Even less so. But it still didnt matter, because in my mind if it could happen to her it could happen to me. There are so many of you reading this who are scared to no end that you would be too. I have learned through talking to doctors and experts at the project that her case was a true medical one-in-a-million. An extremely rare immune response. These two people have changed my life forever, and I hope for the better. At first it was horrible, wondering if my now known Crohns disease and Fibromyalgia were HIV. God I was scared. But for all those reading there really are MANY things out there other than HIV. You would be surprised. So for all those out there wondering if you could be like friend, Doctor, just what are the chances of being a true seronegative carrier of the Virus? And even though I did get blood in my mouth on one occasion, medically, what are my chances of contracting the virus from my 5 lunches at the Y? Thank you all for reading, and Doc, from all those at the Project, we love that little ray of light you shine on an otherwise pitch black subject. PS. I got the job.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Thanks for your comments and questions.
1. What are the chances of being a true sero-negative carrier of the virus? Nonexistent in my opinion. Certainly, there is a period after primary HIV infection during which the individual is indeed HIV infected and capable of transmitting the virus, but has yet to mount an immune response. This is the well-known window period, which can vary in length under extenuating circumstances. There is also a period during end-stage AIDS during which the immune system is so deficient it no longer functions. There are reports of AIDS patients becoming anti-HIV antibody negative during the final stages of their illness. These two well-recognized and transient phases are the only cases of an HIV-infected person testing anti-HIV-antibody negative that I've personally seen over my 27 years as an HIV physician specialist. The other anecdotal reports I've seen have ultimately turned out to be lab or clerical error or false-negative test results.
2. Your chances of contracting HIV from cunnilingus are extremely remote. I've addressed this topic numerous times in this forum. Check the archives if you want all the details.
Congratulations on the new job and thank you for your volunteer work at your AIDS service organization. As your experience demonstrates, such compassionate work provides many invaluable returns.
Last Q&A from the Mixed Martial Arts Guy. Aug 8, 2008
First I would like to thank you for answering my question so fast, as it was definately bothering me. I took your advice and went straight to my doctor for a Fibromyalgia assessment, and sure enough, I matched every criteria, and even hurt in places I didn't even notice before. My question to you is should I go on to see an Immunologist about my new found disorder, or would another doctor be better able to help put on the path to live with this. Also I would like to express my genuine gratitude for the words you said at the end of my message. I have them on my wall, and my girlfriend was even inspired. Shortly after being diagnosed I was rejected from the military's officer program, and now I'm trying to figure out what to do with my life. Thanks to those words, I now have an interview for a job at a research and design company who specializes in nanotechnology. One of the projects they are working on is using the nanites to administer new drugs that could break the gp120 bond. Also I talking to one of the other project managers on a cancer cure project using nanotechnology. This disorder has taken everything that I thought I was, and it, along with my family friends and doctors such as yourself and my own, have given me so much more. You kick some serious ass.
Hell Yeah from Omaha Nebraska.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello "Hell Yeah from Omaha",
Thanks for your kind comments. I'm delighted you found my advice helpful. Regarding the best subspecialist to evaluate and manage fibromyalgia, I would recommend a board-certified rheumatologist (or board-certified clinical immunologist, but this type of sub-specialist may be more difficult to locate).
Best of luck with your interview for the position with the design company specializing in biomedical applications of nanotechnology. Novel therapeutic approaches are needed to attack HIV at all stages of its reproductive cycle. If nanotechnology can indeed affect gp 120 binding it could become a promising new avenue for research.
Be well Omaha Guy.
Dr. Serious Ass Kicker
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