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fatigued and scared
Jun 3, 2002

Dear Dr. Bob:

First, I want to tell you from the answers you give to questioners you seem to be a remarkably kind, compassionate and caring human being. I only wish I could have a physician like you as my internist.

My story is as follows: Seventeen months ago I had unprotected receptive oral sex. I immediately regreted my act and started worrying about HIV. The individual I had sex with assured me he was HIV -, but still I obsessed over the possiblity of being infected. I got myself tested at four months after the exposure as well as eight and nine months later. He tested negative six months after our encounter. I should have been assured by these test results, but six months after the exposure, I started getting extremely fatigued and developed a low grade fever for two months. The fever went away, but not the fatigue. Around a month ago I developed a white lesion in my mouth. I got myself tested for syphilis at a VD clinic (the test was negative) and then finally went to my physician. She took a swab of the lesion and said there were a few hyphae, but she did not think it was thrush due to the look of the lesion and the low number of hyphae on the slide. She did an HIV test (1 and 2) and both came back negative (these tests were done 17 months after my possible exposure). My question is should I believe the negative results at this point? Should I get more HIV tests? Why am I still fatigued? Why were there hyphae in my lesion (by the way the lesion is slowly disappearing by itself).

Again, thanks for you column- you are so nice and reassuring to HIV+ and - people alike. I wish you health and happiness.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Let me get this straight. You had receptive oral sex 17 months ago, had negative HIV tests at 4,8, 9, and 17 months, your sex partner had an HIV test which was negative 6 months after your encounter, and you are asking me 1) should you believe the negative test results and 2) should you get more HIV tests.

Oh my, my, my . . . . Now which part of the statement, "There is no way in hell you could possible be HIV-positive" don't you understand???

Kidding aside, just think about it a second. This isn't rocket science. Your BJ partner is negative, so how could you have gotten HIV from giving him head? And you've had a gazillion negative tests yourself. So what's the only possible answer here? Yep, that's right, you're negative! Now that's using your head!!!

Your fatigue and fever 6 months after your exposure are not related to HIV. How do I know this? Because both you and your partner are HIV-negative - remember? The same story for the white spot in your mouth. By the way, a few hyphae in the mouth can be quite normal.

So let's review:

1) Sex partner HIV-negative 2) Your HIV tests are negative 3) HIV is not the cause of any of your problems, except excessive worry.

See, it's as easy as 1,2,3. You are HIV-free!

Now, it's my turn to wish you the best of health and happiness.

You are well. Stay that way!

Dr. Bob

T-cells dropping
An old ? with a new twist

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