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Fatique after Oral Sex with HIV + male
Aug 1, 2002

Dr. Bob I recently found myself in a situation where I received oral sex (a rim job) from a male that is HIV positive. I have tried everything to calm myself down. As a gay male, I know several copules that have had HIV+ partners. However, I am terrifed. After three weeks, I was tested negative, and I am going to be retested again. The only reason I continue to dwell on this is because of the way I feel. After the first week, I began to feel oddly tired, and drained as soon as I stood up. This strange fatique lasted a couple of weeks. I still feel tired now, and shaky-- I also have alot of pain now in my neck along the sides, jaw....and around my chest. Again, my friends say stress can cause this. I have definitely felt guilty about what happened, and have been feeling down lately--I have been having crying spells, so my doctor put me on an anti-depressant. I realize the risk is low....is there anything you can say to give me some strenght before my next test? By the way, I am going to see a therapist to discuss this.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Rimming (oral-anal sex) has an extremely low risk of HIV transmission, especially for the person being rimmed. There is risk for the rimmer of other STDs. Your concerns of contracting HIV by being rimmed are unwarranted. Relax, you are fine. Sure, go ahead and get tested at 3 months, but if this is your only exposure, I'm sure you'll be negative. Your friends are correct, your symptoms are quite suggestive of anxiety/stress and guilt, not HIV. The anti-depressant is a good idea and I'm glad you will be seeing a therapist soon. The only "strength" I can give you is to advise you that we all make mistakes. You just wouldn't believe some of mine!! We are all only human, and that means we are destined to make mistakes. Don't dwell on past mistakes; just learn form them. No harm was done by your action. The formal guidelines for "safer" rimming to protect the rimmer suggest the use cellophane or a dental dam. The risk is really to the person doing the rimming. OK? Trust me. You'll feel much better soon. And when your HIV test comes back, just yell, "WOO-HOO!"

In the meantime, spend time with friends and try not to focus on your fears. Exercise should help the fatigue as well.

Good luck.

Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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