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obsessing with worry
May 13, 2002

Dr. Bob, I've read many of the Q & A's and am hoping you can help me...I am a nervous wreck. In 99 I had unprotected sex w/ someone for a several month period. He told me he was clean and stupidly I believed him. Right before we ended it, I had a flu like illness, with swollen groin, throat and neck glands. I assumed it was the flu and got over it. Since then, I've not been w/ anyone else unprotected except the man I've been w/ 2 1/2 years who is now my husband. He is in the military and is screened for HIV regularly and has been negative everytime. In nov. 2000 he had some pain urinating, went to the doc, and was diagnosed w/ chlamydia. I didn'tget tested, (stupidly again) but went to the doctor w/ his results and they gave me antibiotics to treat it. Prior to our summer 01 wedding, we both began worrying about HIV. He said he figured as long as we'd been together and as many times as we'd had sex, if one was negative, so was the other. (I think he was trying to quell my fears) He took a test at the health dept and at a rapid response lab. Both came back negative. He had another test for the military in jan. that was negative. Is it that likely that we've been together intimately this long and he would be negative and I would be positive? My obgyn says I am healthy reproductively except last check i tested +4 for protein in my urine. I'm seeing a urologist this week for that but when looking on the web at proteinuria, it said HIV/AIDS is becoming a common cause of that. Also, I had a full blood work up done in oct. due to the finding of a pea sized lump on my jaw line, my doc was worried about lymphoma. The blood results came back absolutely normal on everything. The only symptoms I have of possible HIV are swollen glands in my neck and sometimes but rare armpits. (doc says that's normal for me, i have extremely bad allergies) and I have whitish on my tongue but it doesn't look like the hairy leuko. It actually just looks like I have longer papillae. I know I need to just get tested...but the anxiety gets so bad. I've heard it's harder for a male to get hiv from a female than vice versa. After this long, should I be worrying this bad? I apologize for the length of this post and apprecite your time!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello -

You had "unprotected sex with someone for a several month period?" Wow, that takes a lot of stamina! Didn't you even stop for pizza or a smoke?

OK, so this happened in '99 and you've been using your husband as a surrogate lab-test ever since? Trying to learn your status by inferring it from his test results? No wonder you are a "nervous wreck." Do I think you are negative? Yes, I do. Should you get tested? Yes, because it's the only thing that will really put your mind at ease, isn't it? See a counselor or therapist to help you with your anxiety and irrational fears. Then get yourself tested. It will be negative and you will feel like a million bucks! The anxiety will disappear. After all, '99 was last century. Isn't it time you put this to rest?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob


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