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Symptoms dont tell anything... but what does a negative result tell you?
Mar 25, 2009

I almost suffocated, my tenth test in the last ten years came back negative. whereas in the past i have tested as part of supporting friends wanting to test - and knowing I had nothing to worry about - this time i tested because i was worried, damn scared after diagnosis with hepatitis b and protected sex with a friend in 2007. protection - you start questioning yourself whether it was properly on and so forth. so either it was or the friend was negative and i picked up the hepatitis from elsewhere. but thank you doctor for being who you are, for the support you give to all of us. You are doing such an important piece of work, and it helps to know that. Doctor - how do we move forward, past the stigma of hiv. I tell you my worry for the last few months as i contemplated testing wss not testing positive but how my neighbours will respond, how my mother's friends will respond and say to her. i realise this is the biggest problem of hiv today, afterall, its now becoming just like any other terminal illnesses, it can be contained and people can live long. but the thought of glares is enough to send people into their graves. my own sister, the one I come after, is infected and has not taken medication since her husband died of aids related illnesses in 1995. phisiologically she still looks ok but psychologically she has become a wreck. what can we do to change this perception that testing positive is sending one to their death beds. and as dr. maya angelou says, the human spirit is of extraordinary resilience, we have not as yet dug deeo enough into this spirit when it comes to hiv.

Once again, thank you for being there to millions of us in our moments of greatest need and self doubt. I hope to do what i can, starting with giving my sister diaries where she can enter her daily thoughts, just to show that she is still the same girl I played in the mud with, the same girl who had such ambitions of being a writer, the same girl who is the master of teasing and who could send one to bed early just by a few sentences of ripping and poking fun. it is this humanity we need to continue seeing even if your friend or neighbour says they are infected.

Thank you.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

WOO-HOO! Congratulations on dodging the HIV bullet.

As for how to move past HIV/AIDS stigma, certainly education is key. I've discussed this topic multiple times in the past. (Check out the archives.)

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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