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Do you eaver have to say you're sorry?
Dec 13, 2009

Dr. Bob. I respect your information and your advice on this site. Do you ever hear back from people that have explained their exposure and symptoms to whom you have advised that you are "confident that they haven't been exposed and will test -neg" that actually turn out to have been exposed and are +pos ? This is not a critiscism of you but more of a curiosity. It seems more often than not you assure people based upon their symptoms that it doesnt sound like they have HIV. Of course you tell them to get tested. Do you take that approach suspecting that they actually have been exposed and probably will test +pos just so you don't have to give them the "bad news" and cause them greater anxiety? In all the post I have read I don't recall you advising anyone that it sounds like they might have been exposed, are suffeing from ARS or have AIDS. Has anyone written back to tell you they tested +pos?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Do I take the approach of telling folks to get tested because I suspect they actually have been exposed and probably will test positive just so I don't have to give them the "bad new" and cause them greater anxiety??? No, of course not, silly boy! This is an anonymous HIV information Web site. My purpose here is to provide a basic assessment of HIV transmission/acquisition risk based on sound science and to give advice on appropriate HIV testing and prevention. Why would I be anything but honest with my assessment, comments, and advice?

I'm not at all shy about having to say I'm sorry! However, I can not recall an episode where I have had to apologize for a medical assessment of HIV risk I've given to questioners in this forum! The same applies to the medical advice and recommendations I've provided here!

Many anxious wrecks visiting this forum (you perhaps?) are so worried and stressed out (and often harboring considerable guilt) about their various sexperiences and the possibility they have contracted the virus that they have difficulty accepting the scientific realities associated with their particular risk. For instance, they find it impossible to believe that not every exposure to HIV leads to HIV transmission or that their swollen lymph node could be due to anything other than HIV infection.

Please rest assured I'm an extremely honest person and as an HIV physician specialist I have had to deliver an enormous amount of bad news over the past quarter century.

Dr. Bob



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