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thank you dr. Robert
Oct 7, 2008

Hello dr. Robert,

I don't know to who I should address this email, and don't how to summarize all my condition now.

I have aids. Since knowing this all my dreams have shattered and I can't get myself together again.

I am scared to live with this diagnosis, have been reading a lot about treatment and the more I read the more depression I get.

I don't drink alcohol and don't smoke, trying to live healthy life, but often I see no reason in continuing it and don't see the purpose of my existence. I feel myself passive and tired and not willing to improve all this as I see no reason.

I made so many attempts to get back to normal, read about all these great people who could overcome it and became activists or who are doing so many good things for others inspite their condition and diagnosis.

I wish so much to be like them, to have more power but often find myself so down.

Only my lover and the doctors know about my diagnosis.

I live in foreign country and can't go to aids support group due to lack of language and can't go back to my country because all this medical treatment I get is unavailable there and I will just collapse without it there I guess.

I'm sorry if my email is so pessimistic but I don't know what to do anymore and what to live for.

The tiredness and depression just don't leave me how much ever I tried and if before I hoped that it will be some medicine developed to remove aids from me, now I see it will not happen.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

No need to apologize for a pessimistic post. There is no doubt you are clinically depressed. Depression is quite common in us "virally enhanced" folks. After all, we do have a damn good reason to "sing the blues," right? One of the most common symptoms associated with clinical depression is fatigue. That accounts for your tiredness. Luckily, depression is a very treatable condition. Even if you can't go to an AIDS support group, due to the language barrier, I'm confident you should be able to locate an English-speaking psychiatrist. This would be your best option as you try to come to grips with your new reality. I've been HIV positive since January 1991 and I can honestly state that despite the challenges of living with HIV (and some of them have been real doozies!), my life over the past 17 years has been full of love, compassion, commitment, purpose and, yes, hot sex. There is life after an HIV diagnosis, if you want it. I urge you to get help for your depression (psychiatric help) to regain your zest for life. Happiness is waiting for you, but you'll need to take the first step.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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