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My mother would be proud
Feb 21, 2002

Dear Dr:

I realize that you can not answer all questions, but if you coulld possible answer this it would certainly provide me with comfort. I am a heterosexual married male who has been obsessed for the past 3.5 months about HIV. My encounter was with a woman whos HIV status was unknown. I had unprotected insertive vaginal sex. I tested for all STD's and HIV at 15 days, negative, HIV at 66 days, negative, and at three months 90 days negative. The guilt has been immense, we are presently building our dream home and all I can think of is I wont be able to share this with her. I have read that a three month test is considered conclusive, by the cdc, I have spoken with the GMHC counselors, they say its conclusive, they have been so supportive and have helped me tremendously. If I were your patient would you tell me to get over it you dont have HIV, or is another test necessary. The counselors at GMHC say that a 3 month test will be as accurate as a 4 5 or 6 month test. I have two sisters and a brother who were born in Trieste, I am able to talk with my mom about what has happened. She has also helped keep me strong. If you could ease her sons mind I know she would be proud. Whew!!

Thank You for your time and consideration


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Antonio,

Your negative 3-month test is very encouraging. Since you don't know the status of your encounter, the odds are that she was negative. Insertive intercourse is less risky than receptive intercourse. Do I personally think you are negative? Yes, I do. All the odds are definitely in your favor.

Your problem now is your guilt over your actions and fear/stress over possibly contracting HIV. You did have a potential exposure - unprotected sex. But considering the other circumstances - status of partner most likely being negative, your negative ELISA test at 3 months, no symptoms suggestive of an acute seroconversion-type of reaction, etc. - your chance of being positive is quite low. I would definitely agree with the CDC and GMHC.

If you find you can't focus on your dream house due to your fears, you may need some counseling and or medications to help you cope. Do you need another test? I'd say no, but if you do decide to get one anyway, do it at 6 months. It will be negative. Antonio, don't focus on mistakes in the past. We all make them. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes. Focus on today and anticipate tomorrow.

Trieste is lovely. So, when are we going for a visit to see your 2 sisters and brother? Make your mother proud, Antonio: Give her a hug for being so understanding. Then, get back to focusing on your wife and building your dream home!

Stay well

Dr. Bob

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