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Why hide it??
Nov 28, 2010

Hey doctor bob chris from coffs harbour here again been awhile since we last spoke you prob dont remember me. You'll be glad to know my cd4 has jumped up from 100to 340 which means nomore drips and stuff whoooo lol. Anyways my question for you is this why do the majority of people act like aids is a non exsistent illness or have the outlook of "thats something that happens in 3rd world countries". My new goal in life is to try and bring some awareness to hiv/aids as I now know it doesnt discriminate. It just seems as though most people dont want to know about it I watch a fair bit of Tv and see the Ads about cancer and all sorts of other illnesses but never Aids. I got diagonosed when I was 21 im now 24 I just want people to be more accepting of it but feel as if theres so much stigma and people just dont belive it is a real illness. I was thinking of doing a walk from coffs to sydney to try and raise awarness. Why do people ignore it??? I think people without hiv/aids are more scared of it then people living with it atleast we choose to acknowlege it.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Chris,

Of course I remember you and I remember my trips to Coffs Harbor. I'm extremely pleased to hear you are responding well to treatment and your CD4 count has risen out of the danger zone. BRAVO!

Regarding your concern about the lack of HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention coupled with ongoing HIV/AIDS stigma and misinformation, well, I could write a book on the topic. Folks want to believe HIV/AIDS is someone else's problem. The lack of AIDS awareness campaigns certainly doesn't help. Laws that criminalize HIV nondisclosure are counterproductive. (Check out my last few blogs on this site, as I addressed this topic in detail.) And then we have religious leaders like the Pope and other wingnuts have been sabotaging HIV-prevention efforts for years. (My next blog discusses this topic.) Also, HIV/AIDS was extremely scary when it first surfaced nearly three decades ago. We had no idea what caused it back then and folks were dropping like flies. Some folks just never got over those bad old days of the epidemic and continue to harbor intense AIDS paranoia. Developed nations link HIV/AIDS to "undesirable" groups and behaviors such as intravenous drug users, gays and promiscuity. These and many other factors all contribute to keeping HIV/AIDS tragically out of sight and out of mind.

One of the missions of my foundation, The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation, is to raise awareness of the pandemic through advocacy and education. It's been an uphill battle and I'm delighted you have now joined the fight!

Be well Chris. I'm headed for New Zealand and Oz in February and March 2011.

Dr. Bob



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