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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
           
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Desperate: I will get my HIV result tomorrow and I just want to disappear
Aug 7, 2002

DR. FRASCINO, YOU DID NOT ANSWER MY MESSAGE SO I PRESUME YOU HAVE NO ANSWER TO MY PROBLEM. I KNOW THIS IS NOT THE FORUM BUT YOUR ANSWERS ARE INSIGHTFUL, AND I VALUE THEM. I HAD SOME SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A SEX WORKER IN CAMEROUN. I WAS ABOUT TO ENGAGE IN HER SEX BUT I STOPPED. HOWEVER MY SEX HAS BEEN IN CONTACT WITH HER GENITALS FOR 20 TO 30 SECONDS (BUT WITH NO PENETRATION). I ONLY EXPERIENCED EXTREME FATIGUE ABOUT 3 TO 5 WEEKS AFTER THAT ENCOUNTER. I TESTED NEGATIVE AT 10 WEEKS (USING HOME ACCESS) AND I TESTED AGAIN AT 15 WEEKS. I LL HAVE THE RESULTS TOMORROW BUT I PREFER TO DIE THAN CALL. WAS IT A HIGH RISK EXPOSURE, KNOWING THAT 30 TO 50 OF SEX. WORKERS ARE INFECTED IN CAMEROUN? WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

IN AN Y CASE I REALLY LOVE READING YOU AND WHATEVER HAPPENS I LL KEEP READING AND SUPPORTING YOU, YOU ARE DOING A GREAT AND SUPERB JOB, TAKING THE TIME TO ANSWER OUR IRRATIONAL FEARS OF HIV. HOPE I LL HEAR FROM YOU. BEST.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

It's not that I'm ignoring you or any other "am I infected" or "worried well" questioners, it's just that my mailbox is over-stuffed with hundreds and hundreds of concerned folks. Although I really would like to answer each and every one, it's physically impossible. Perhaps more importantly is that this forum is devoted to HIV-related anemia and fatigue. That said, I'll try to answer your question. Twenty to thirty seconds of genital contact without penetration is not considered a significant risk, even if your partner is a Cameroonian (is that a word?) sex worker. Your only symptom has been fatigue 3-5 weeks after the incident. This is most likely due to stress and anxiety. Your 10-week test was negative. Your 3-month test, I'm quite sure, will also be negative. So I'd say your odds are excellent! Why "prefer to die than call" for your results with odds like that? Make the call. Get the good news. Start WOO-HOOing. OK?

Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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