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Really need your help!
Sep 7, 2002

Hi Dr. Bob,

I'm the girl who wrote to you about her boyfriend possibly having inaccurate test results due to his alopecia. Well, our 3-month tests both came back negative (we used Home Access - 1st generation), and I had unprotected sex with him (no ejaculation). But now I'm suddenly terrified that we should've waited 6 months to test, and that his results are inaccurate. I've called the CDC and they scared the heck out of me, telling me "you never know" until you test at 6 months, and that I engaged in "high risk activity". Unfortunately, I've nearly had a nervous breakdown because of this - I've been sick with anxiety and unable to function for the past two days. Even my therapist can't help, and I've had to rely on tranquilizers to get me through the day. I am angry at myself for doing this. Do you think I need to be worried? I really am scared, Doc...I'll never have unprotected sex again!!! Thanks for any advice you have...I'm really losing my mind and it's ruining my life.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Welcome back to the forum! Sorry the CDC scared the pants off (or should that be "back on") you! You and your cue-ball boyfriend both tested negative at 3 months. The chances of your seroconverting in the next 3 months are extremely, extremely rare. Sure, the CDC can say, "You never know." But then again I could also say "You never know. Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt could both come up to me next week and ask me out to dinner on the same evening." That's just not going to happen, but then again, it could. You just never know!

Do I think you need to be worried? No, not really. I do recommend safer sex (latex condoms) each and every time to avoid future worry. Should you retest? Well, unprotected vaginal sex does carry some risk; however, the risk is decreased, because there was no ejaculation. The risk was also drastically decreased because you both just had negative 3-month HIV tests. Your risk of contracting HIV from this exposure is extremely rare. If you're worried, go ahead and retest in 3 months. It will be negative again. I'll bet on that. Continue to work with your therapist. I'll try to get the CDC to be a bit more reasonable in their comments.

Write back with your "RE-WOO-HOO," OK? If Brad and Tom show up on my doorstep in the meantime, I'll let you know!

Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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