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Bothersome symptoms
Mar 15, 2002

Hi Doc,

You are truly an amazing Doctor to be able to do what you do and retain your sense of humor. I admire your goodwill and nature to help those of us that are paranoid. I hope you can help me, I am freaking out... I sent this to Safe Sex forum several times and never got a response. Anyway here's my story...

I had a drunken encounter with a girl of unknown status. I pressed the head of my penis against the opening of her vagina for about 10-15 sec but never inserted. It was as close as it can get without having inserted. I stopped as she seemed to eager to have sex without a condom. I came to my senses and stopped. She said she was clean but I didn't trust her. Well, I thought that was safe until I started displaying weird symptoms that persist.

It started out as a very dry throat (cotton mouth for a week) and then my throat glands felt a little swollen. This was all at week 3.5. At week 7.5, I had a rash across my torso (I attributed to a heat rash as I was working in 95 degree weather). At week 8 I had an upset stomach/intestines for 5 weeks. Lost about 10 lbs. I had CBC,Hepatitus,Mono test done everything normal. Doc said it was a viral illness. Well now I'm freaked out! At 3 months I experienced what looks like erythematous candidias and geographic on my tongue and this has been on and off. It stays for a few days and then disappears. Throughout this whole thing my tonsils look swollen and at the very back of my throat looks like little white dots that doesn't go away. I never had any fevers or flu like symptoms (other than the bad stomach at week 8 which was like my intestines weren't digesting right). Most recently I seem to be having something like fasciculations (sp?) where my muscles just randomly twitch throughout my body. I also recently had 3 cold sores on the roof of my mouth and two eye infections which I have never had before.

Anyway, Sorry to make such a long case but I am worried. I thought that this was safe since we never actually had sex but came very close. Everything I read shows that there is no evidence of transmission without penetration and I know I did not enter her but maybe the opening of her vagina. Does this sound like symptoms of HIV or am I being paranoid? I'm so sorry to ask this but you seem to be the only one who gives it straight. Please help me Doc, you are my last hope.

Sincerely,

Desperate Gringo

Response from Dr. Frascino

Dear Desperate Gringo,

The only way to determine if you are HIV-infected or not is to get the HIV test. Is your risk high based on the scenario you described? Nope. Do I think you're infected? Nope. Are you being overly paranoid? Yep. Gringo, I think you are fine; however, if you're fixated on the possibility that you might be HIV-positive, then get tested. It will be negative. You should not be a desperate desperado, but rather a gleeful gringo!

Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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