Words of caution to others and a final thank you from the cyber-chondriac who cant spell chondriac
Aug 29, 2011
Dear Dr. Frascino -
Yes, it is I... A warm heart felt thanks goes out to you for replying to my previous posts, around a month ago or so. Because so many people out there post about their risk and ask questions, it seems like few actually follow-up with "Was Dr Bob right months later?" type of information - I'm here to say... You were correct about my son not being virally enhanced, because - as proven Friday by anonymous HIV antibody screen at the 6 month mark (plus a few days), I was able to woo hoo with a negative test!
Your forum posts and blogs are what got me through the last month (ok, the good Karma blessing didn't hurt either)- knowing that I am not crazy (ok, maybe a little nuts) and that there are many many other people out there, worried for little reason, or who should be more worried about a car accident than HIV infection. I've also learned a lot in the recent past including the following tid-bits, which may serve as good warning to others, please share with your readers what you feel is true and accurate, and correct anything you disagree with:
1. If you are concerned that some incident has infected you with HIV, the most important thing to do is practice safe sex.
2. The second most important thing to do is GET OFF THE INTERNET - Ok... You can do it... shut off the computer - misinformation is rampart and it really wont help you while you worry - as one post stated, it's like someone being afraid of snakes jumping into a snake pit everyday.
3. If you are concerned and this is ruminating - try to relax, you cannot change the past, you will not die (well, not this minute from HIV anyway), and know that no amount of research, discussions (yes, even with Dr. Bob), and especially "what if's" will change your status today.
4. Don't test tens or hundreds of times.. just wait 6 months (If you only wait three you will think to yourself.. I must be the tiny fraction of people who seroconverts later) and go get it over with. Make sure you grow a pair and test - best decision I ever made (Oh, and some armpit soreness that I was sure what HIV, went away hours after the negative result-interesting right? Your symptoms would likely go away after testing as well!).
5. I'm quite certain nobody will listen to point #2 - I did not... If you absolutely INSIST on being on the Internet, look no further than thebody. The information is real, accurate and in depth. You get to see that you are not alone, weather you are crazy, positive, or something else - there's every kind of person out there and the Doctors here are compassionate to all of them.
My story is in the HIV prevention forum, you can read about my risk indecent there - until Friday I was 100% certain I was infected - I even researched treatment in depth, watched podcasts from CROI 2011 and allowed the other things in life to be neglected. I considered every loose stool, every ache and pain, every infection (Strep twice) and everything every member of my household was going through to be biologically plausible for HIV infection and ran back to the Internet screaming... Looking for more data... Reading, learning about risk... But why? to what end? I mean... was all this reading going to change anything? (Dr Bob may say - "of course not!") Then I found this forum and blogs, which at least slowed me down a little! I wasted a great summer for no reason - even if I was infected everything I did all summer would have changed nothing, except waste a perfectly good summer in the normally almost arctic northern states.
Again I thank you Doctor - your forum and blog posts have, and will continue to, entertain and inform (My favorite blog was the MRI scene - I recently had one and understand completely) and true to my word, I will continue to donate to the cause any way I can - it's a worthy public health cause and the means by which I will continue my thanks to you (no more posts from me :-) ).
Be Well Doctor and Readers of the Forum!
With warm regards, The not-so-numb nuts cyber-chondriac :-)
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hi, Not-so-numb-nuts Cyber-chondriac.
Thanks for your thanks and taking the time to write in and share your newfound insights. Hopefully they will help others still stuck in their self-induced worried-well hell!
Be well. Stay well.
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