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Women, you may be vulnerable after divorce!!!
Nov 9, 2009

Dear Doctor, I've just been reading letters and your advice in your forum. I too would like to add a word of warning, to a vulnerable section of society, if I may. After 30 odd years of marriage, I got divorced and for some years did not date. Recently I started dating again via the internet as I live quite isolated. I have high moral standing, hold down a responsible job and am a sensible person... however, I did have unprotected sex with a man that I had only know for some months, and met only once before. I was not going to sleep with him, but I ended sharing his bed after all. So easy to have let myself down on this I'm quite amazed and shocked. Not only do I now feel very stupid, I regret what I did so much you cannot imagine. I immeadiately went to my doctor to get tested for STDs' and this proved to be negative, but now I have to wait to get tested for HIV and Hepatitis. I am trying not to worry till perhaps I have to, but I am devastated by my own mistake. It has been a month since, yes, I have had diarrhea, and sore throat, but I think this is connected to a flu-bug which I got last week. The advice you give people has helped me immensely and I am grateful for that. But the main reason for writing this letter is, to ask the question WHY, why was I so unaware, never having had to even think about HIV or aids as was married to one partner, why did I make such a mistake??? Anyway, I am praying like everyone else who writes to you, that I might be spared being infected. I have certainly learnt a lesson, that is for sure. Thank you for your attention. Kind regards, and yes I would like to remain anonymous.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Thanks for taking the time to write in and share your story. As for why you were so unaware, I really have no way of knowing. HIV/AIDS is not new. In fact we've known about it for 28 years! Part of the blame certainly could be placed on our outdated and inadequate HIV/AIDS awareness, education and prevention programs. For instance, how many television commercials do you see about Viagra and Cialis compared to Trojan condoms or HIV/AIDS prevention?

Now that you've learned your long overdue lesson, I hope you'll do your part to "pay it forward." That means to take the information you've learned here and from your personal experience and share it widely with friends, family and colleagues. Also, insist on science-based, age-appropriate sex education in our schools. Your personal efforts just may safe a life.

Good luck on your upcoming tests.

Dr. Bob



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