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Please have me in your prayers
Jul 1, 1999

6-21-99

Dear Father DeMartini, I am a preson that loves life to the level of words so heavenly I cannot describe. I'm a 25 year old heterosexual male and had a one night stand with a possible prostitute on 9-17-98. I used a wallet stored condom and theorized that the condom was therefore defective and created HIV exposure. I've had every kind of HIV test done over and over again, and also after six (6) months. However since the act (that I am so very sorry for doing), I've felt immediate flu symptoms followed by every other known HIV symptom including agonizing fatigue all to the present date. Tommorow I'm getting another $200.00 test followed by another three (beyond that). Am I trying to break the record for having the most extensive testing before final diagnosis? Nope. I just need to be 1.000.000.00 percent sure because as said, I truly love life and I need to put this behind me. I have cried and begged God to forgive me and promised him that if I don't have HIV I will do an incredible amount of work for him in helping all the people on this earth that I possibly can. I meant it, and have more faith in God than the tests. After these next four (4) tests that I have planned, I will search for other viruses besides HIV & Hepatitis. I figure that something has to be in my blood to give me this kind of physical difficulty. I use to be a great sportsman athlete and five months ago, I let my health club (gym) membership expire without renewal to date, for the first time in life.

I pray that maybe this is my punishment or burden that I've requested to help lift from Jesus' suffering, and perhaps, it's ONLY a psychosomatic situation. My heart and soul are in the Lord's hands and I will continue my faith and thank you for your time and love in reading this kind Sir.

D.S.

Response from Father DeMartini

Dear D. S.,

Thank you for your honesty in sharing your fear and your desire to respect yourself and others in your life. I am not a doctor so I do not know what is causing your fatigue but I do know that extreme worry can lead to depression and this illness does incapacitate one physically and emotionally. I believe that God is always there for us as one who loves and forgives but sometimes we have a very difficult time accepting this unconditional love and are waiting to be punished instead. I hope that you and the person you had sex with are and have remained HIV-. I support your desire to make healthy and honest choices from now on and I hope that this will include talking with someone person to person who may be able to help you through the guilt and shame you feel so that it does not take more of a physical and emotional toll on you. In the Catholic Church we have the sacrament of penance which can be an effective source of support and there is also counseling which can help as well. I will keep you in my prayers in the midst of your fears and the tests ahead that you may see clearer each day God's love for you. Blessings, Fr. Rod



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