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Just venting
Jan 5, 2009

Dr. Bob,

I know you are very busy, but I just needed to vent and I thought about you. You are such an amazing person and so very caring.

This is my problem. I am currently awaiting my HIV testing results. I broke up with my boyfriend (of six years) and I just consider it standard procedure to get tested before starting a new relationship b/c you never know...so hopefully I can woo-hoo once I get the results. My friends think that it's silly. I believe that they still have the perception that HIV only affects "dirty whores and drug users." It's crazy! I can not believe that in this day and age people still act like that. It is so sad. Most of my friends have never even been tested and that is just mind boggling to me. So I did some research, and in my county, only around 47% of sexually active adults have ever been tested...what?! I just cannot believe that...I mean, everytime I get tested (this time included) I am scared and nervous, but it's a reality and I believe a must. Damn those abstinence only programs that make people so ashamed and secretive. I don't believe in sharing my personal life with the world, but when people tell me that they have been w/ 6+ people, unprotected, and never been tested...I just don't get it. I have only been with 2 people in my whole life, and although I may go overboard...atleast I'll know one way or the other.

Dr. Bob, I just am baffled at all of this...not only my friends, but the information and statistics I see on the web...It is just crazy. What can be done? How can we make people see that HIV is serious and your life isn't something just to throw to chance? I just don't get it, or maybe I just overreact. I've never been one to just sleep with anyone, yet I worry...and my friends sleep around, and don't...am I the one in the wrong? Who knows...I just needed to get that off of my chest and I know that there will probably never be an answer...it's just so sad. I pray for a cure everyday...especially for people like you who are just wonderful people who make a positive mark on this earth. Thank you. Tell Dr. Steve hello! Hope you two are well...maybe say a silent prayer for me in anticipation of a woo-hoo...it is so stressful to wait...Take care and have a great day. Thank you for all you do...I love you!

baffled in MI

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Baffled in MI,

I absolutely understand your frustration. HIV/AIDS is 100% incurable and 100% preventable and yet every year in the United States there are 56,300 new infections. This shocking statistic speaks volumes about our ineffective HIV/AIDS awareness and education programs. Certainly Dubya's misguided and disastrous (is there anything about that guy that isn't misguided and disastrous?) abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education programs are at least partially to blame. Did you know that 90% of sexually active women in the U.S. carry lip protection, but only 10% carry HIV protection?!?

What can be done? Well, we are finally getting rid of the Rodeo Clown currently occupying the White House. That's a big step in the right direction. Certainly with Obama we will see a return to science and common sense in dealing with HIV/AIDS and many other critical topics: stem-cell research, the environment, clean-needle exchange programs, etc. On a local level, I'd suggest you contact your local AIDS service organizations and get involved in their HIV/AIDS-awareness and prevention programs. There are innumerable ways to get involved. Continue to talk to your clueless friends. Invite them to a local viewing of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Suggest they watch the PBS documentary The Age of AIDS or even Angels in America.

I'm sending you my good-luck karma that your results remain negative.

Stay safe and you'll stay well.

Dr. Bob



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