|Should I start to Worry?
May 31, 2001
Dr.Bob, Great work on this forum, keep it up, I've sent this question to you a few times with no response, i'm hoping you'll get to see it this go round. Brief background, 34 y/o hetero male <married 10 years June 1st, 2001> my only "high risk" exposure <VERY brief, unprotected Vaginal Intercourse> took place sometime in 1986. My problem is, i'm finding it harder and harder to get myself out of bed in the mornings and yawn all day long, i will admit, i do a lot of driving as part of my job <4000 miles a month> I'm concerned, I dont think i should be this tired, i'll admit, i've been worried for atleast 6 years that i'm HIV+, but am too afraid to get myself tested, could you offer any advice here, it would help more than you can imagine.
Response from Dr. Frascino
4000 miles per month? Wow, you must buzz right by my house several times per year! As you know, and as I'll remind our other readers, this forum is dedicated to HIV-related fatigue and anemia. Questions about whether or not you may have contracted HIV should be posed to our forum on Safe Sex and Prevention. But since you've written often and complimented this forum (see, flattery does work!), I'm happy to respond. Although, I'm sure you already know the advice I'm going to give. Right? OK, here goes. You had "very brief" unprotected vaginal intercourse in 1986. this places you at some risk, albeit relatively small compared to receptive vaginal or anal intercourse with a known HIV-positive partner. I'm assuming you don't know the status of your partner. Your only symptom to date seems to be difficulty getting out of bed in the morning and yawning while you drive 4000 miles per month. If these symptoms really meant HIV infection, I think almost everyone would consider themselves positive. Your symptoms are really not suggestive of HIV. You've worried about this for 6 years, so at 4000 miles per month, that equals 288,000 miles of worry! Do I think you're infected? Most likely not, but there is only one way to be absolutely sure. Here comes the advice. If you're worried, get tested! There really is no other option other than another 288,000 miles of worry! So, pull over, stop the car, find an anonymous testing center, and get tested! Your fatigue will probably clear right up when you stop worrying. Additionally, you should get regular exercise, other than changing lanes and turning the windshield wipers on and off.
Good luck, safe travels, and stay healthy.
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