May 13, 2002
Hello Dr. Fascino I have previously posted my concern to Dr. Kull, but it remains unanswered. Therefore I`m writing you in hopes that I will get a response. I`m a 24 year old male living in Japan at the current moment. My situation begins about 5 weeks ago when I engaged in brief unprotected vaginal sex with a Japanese female I had met through a friend. By brief, I mean that we started intercourse without the use of a condom, but I soon realized what a stupid thing I was doing and decided I`d better put one on. There was some slippage but in the end I pulled out and ejaculated outside her body with the condom on. In addition to my concern of the brief moments of unprotected sex, I had a reasonably deep cut on my finger and it came into contact with her vaginal fluids. The cut may have been open, but no blood seemed to be present on the finger. In the past weeks I have experienced minor symptoms of fatigue and sporadic confusion that have lasted about 2 weeks, this could be associated with anxiety and stress, not sure though. No high fever, although at times I felt I was coming down with one. Did have minor headaches. Not sure about lymph nodes. Other symptoms such as sore throat, nausea, rashes, and oral thrush seem to be absent as far as I know. I have called numerous hotlines and all the counselor have told me that my activity is low risk. My question is whether you would agree with them? Is the risk of infection high in Japan? Some even gave me the impression that I really didn`t even need to get tested. However, to be safe I will get tested in about 3 weeks, and again at the 3 month mark. But in the meantime your advice and suggestions on my situation would help a great deal as I am very very stressed and anxious. Thank you for your time, you are doing a great job!!! I will never put myself in this sort of jam again!!
Response from Dr. Frascino
Just a quick reminder this forum is dedicated to questions pertaining to HIV-related fatigue and anemia. I agree with the "numerous hotlines" that your risk is quite low. A test at 3 months will most likely be negative. Your recent symptoms are classic for anxiety and stress. I would suggest you seek the help of a therapist or counselor who can help you cope with your fears until you can take your 3-month test. The odds are very definitely in your favor that you will be negative.
Good luck. We'll all be rooting for you!
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