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Nov 29, 2004

Dr. Bob, I really need your help. i am at the end of my rope. I had protected vaginal sex with a sex worker 28 days ago. I used a condom that she provided, but no lube. After the sex, the condom appered intact, and I immediately washed off. I have throughly convinced myself that I am currently going through ARS. My throat feels like it is closing (even though my Dr. says my glands are not swollen) I am very fatigued, my tounge has a thick white coating on it, and my testicles ache. At the 3rd day after my encounter, my Dr. gave me a UA and it came back negative. I was so very foolish to do this (the sex) and I have alot to lose. I am in the military, and my Dr. will not give me an HIV test for another 2 months. I know from reading your forum that a 3 month test is required, but the wait is killing me. Are my symptoms indicitive of ARS? I have been taking my temp. about 20 times a day and it is normal, and I have been smoking almost double due to the stress. Could the smoking account for the throat feeling constricted? To make matters worse, today is my birthday and I feel so stressed out, that I don't know what to do. Any answer you could give me would be great. I am going to test at the 3 month mark, and I am also going to try the Home Access test at 40 days. PLEASE, PLEASE answer this post and tell me if I am overeacting, or if I have valid concerns. THANKS

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Military Guy,

OK soldier, listen up:

1. "Protected sex" is protected from HIV if the latex condom is used properly and did not break. Got it?

2. Your symptoms are not consistent with ARS. Got it?

3. Your symptoms are very consistent with anxiety. Got it?

4. HIV tests prior to three months are not considered definitive. Got it?

Have you got all that, Soldier??? In essence I'm trying to tell you based on what you've told me YOU DON'T GOT IT! Got it?

OK, now for your orders:

1. Take three big cleansing yoga breaths. (Go ahead, we'll wait.)

2. Stop smoking. Cigarettes will indeed kill you. That's for certain.

3. Stop checking your temperature 20 times per day. You look ridiculous with that damn thermometer sticking out your mouth (or butt, whichever the case may be).

4. Realize your HIV risk is essentially nonexistent and stop all this irrational worry.

5. Get HIV tested at three months to calm your mind once and for all.

6. It's your birthday and even though the old song says, "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to," wouldn't you rather eat cake?

So snap out of it, Soldier Boy. And that's an order!

Dr. Bob

A bottle of wine and a donation
Thank you!

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