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Monday Morning Michelle: Dear Michelle, I Think My Friend Has HIV…

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Monday Morning MichelleDear Michelle,

Recently I ran into a friend of mine from high school.  He looks terrible.  He was always thin but he’s beyond thin now.  

He speaks about pain in his foot and describes symptoms that I’m convinced might be consistent with HIV /AIDS.  I was close to his family and I’m wondering if I should say anything. – Just a friend 

Dear Just,

I’m sorry your friend seems to be sick.  Of course, there’s no way of knowing what’s wrong until he goes to the doctor to get checked.  Depending upon how open your friend is with you about his pain and circumstances, it might be difficult for you to bring up your concern without appearing as though you are prying into his personal life.

What I recommend is to be a friend and tell him you are concerned.  If you feel comfortable mention that you think it might be good for him to go to the doctor to get a checkup because you have noticed the apparent weight loss.  Be there for your friend if he decides to open up about the matter, and be open and honest.

Knowing what to do in times like this is never easy, and perhaps the best advice I can give is trust your intuition.  If you feel as though you are over-stepping, you might be but if you feel as though you are genuinely concerned, and you are acting on that then by all means do what you think is necessary to show compassion and concern.

It’s a fine line.  Trust yourself on this one.  Listen to your inner voice, and go with that.  Maybe just being there to listen is all your friend needs.  Again, trust yourself.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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