Sep 9, 2002
Hi Dr. Bob!!! Before I go into my question and my concerns, I just want to say that I have read your forums, and you are by far one of the most compassionate individuals I have ever come across. Your ability to comfort, at the same time humor people who are in distress of this illness is something that should be commended! Not sure if you realize all the lives you have touched and inspired...but believe me all of us worried ones definitely know. I would also like to know how I could make a an anonymous donation to your foundation so that hopefully one day, hopefully soon, we can overcome this terrible disease. Please let me know. Okay I will now shed light on my concerns. I know this is probably not the right forum, and I apologize to you, NY Jack, and all the others that this forum is dedicated to. But, I'm so worried and I wouldn't have even bothered you if I had read something similar to my situation in your forums or the other ones. So please forgive me.
Okay here's what happened: About 5 weeks ago I met a girl at a bar, basically we got to talking and ended up going back to her place as she suggested. She gave me unprotected oral and then we proceeded to intercourse with protection. The two things that worries me is: 1) I was somewhat limp when I first slipped the condom on, but got more erect as we proceeded, so as a result when I finished the condom was a bit loose at the tip, like I had unrolled a little too much of the condom. I don't believe the condom slipped off, a little extra of the condom just came unrolled. So not sure if the condom was used 100 correctly and whether this puts me at risk. 2) Earlier that morning I had popped a pimple towards the back, underside of my penis. I'm worried about this because, what if the condom had not covered it since it was towards the back of my penis. There was no blood, but what if her vaginal juices had gotten on it? Could it have entered through the the acne? My symptoms are: At week two I had a sore throat that lasted about 1-2 days. A little of the runs for about 2-4 days. Now recently at about 4 1/2 weeks I developed another sore throat, headache and just an ill feeling overall, kind of like I have a cold. I don't think I've had a fever, I felt hot at times but when I took my temperature it was normal. My mymph nodes seem a little uncomfortable and sore at times but that could be cause I keep feeling them. I had a rash before my recent symptoms, but it could have been from the sunblock I used, I got it on the same day I went tanning. Basically the rash was like little bumps and had no color, these occured on my stomach mostly. Then there were more of a pink rash on my lower back. These both went away in about 3-4 days. I wouldn't be so worried, and many of my friends and family have told me not to worry so much. So I was taking their advice until these recent symptoms. Now I'm super worried because I have a girlfriend and I'm soooo worried that I might have infected her. I don't know what I would do if this was the case. Please Dr. Bob, let me know if you think I'm at high risk, low risk. Do symptoms usually come together like the rash and sore throat or at seperate intervals? Any comment or opinion on my matter would be deeply appreciated. I'm waiting to take the test, but in the meantime your thoughts would mean alot. I know you have probably a hundred million e-mails daily but if you could just take a small chunk of your time to respond I would be so thankful. Thanks again, a true admirer of your work and you.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Thanks for your very kind comments. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to my foundation:
The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation 779 Altos Oaks Drive, Suite 200 Los Altos, CA 94024
Any and all contributions are greatly appreciated and will touch many lives.
As for your question, add me to the list of "many friends and family" who have told you not to worry. I think your risk is extremely, extremely low. (That's lower than extremely low!) Your condom remained in place. Even if it was a bit loose, it's still protective. The popped pimple? Well, these are usually fairly superficial and I doubt there was a gaping wound at the site. Besides, the condom may well have covered this as well. What an uncomfortable place to have acne, by the way! You might want to see your dermatologist about that! Also, you have no idea if this woman was HIV-positive or not. All of this adds up to very, very minimal risk. (That's less than very minimal risk.) OK?
Your symptoms - transient sore throat, transient diarrhea, headache, rash - are very non-specific and do not sound like a seroconversion reaction to me. Yes, indeed, lymph (or as you call them, "mymph") nodes will get a bit tender if you keep mashing on them. Leave them alone!
What about your girlfriend and chances of infecting her? Well, are you using condoms? If so, your chances are non-existent. If you are not using condoms, well I strongly doubt you could have infected her because I'm quite sure from your story that you did not acquire HIV from your walk on the wild side with the bar girl. That said, I do recommend condoms all the time for sexually active individuals. It just takes the worry out of sex.
Well I hope this helps relieve your stress. Thanks again in advance for your donation, which will help fund crucial services for needy HIV-infected folks around the world. I think even NY Jack will forgive you!!!
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