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Tensed because of rashes, sore mouth and lack of support here .... help please ....
Apr 18, 2004

Sir,

I would really appreciate if you give relief to my anxiety, scare and paranoia by answering to my mail. Your response really means a lot to me. Prior to this, I have tried getting in touch with Dr. Bob and Dr. Calvin several times but all in vain. I really hope that at least you would answer me back.

My story:

I am 29 m and scared to death that I might have contracted the virus through an oral fellatio (unprotected) by a Thai female massager in Dubai on 19-02-04. I was unfortunately not aware of putting condom on even while having oral sex. We even kissed each other in mouth a lot and she took my semen in her mouth. I guess even that poor young girl did not know about the possibility & consequences of getting the virus through the semen. I also assume that she must be having various forms of sex with her other customers too putting her in a very high-risk category.

Since this episode, I got (& I still am) very concerned and even more scared after realizing that I had two or three little sores on the tip and under-side of foreskin of my penis prior to the episode. I also noticed an extremely little cut on the penis skin (that hurt when water came in contact while having bath) that probably happened with her neck chain rubbing against my penis while she was giving BJ. There was no visible blood in the girl's mouth and also she didn't have any oral ulcers to my notice and she also looked quite healthy with no pigmentation and itching on her skin. She also seemed very heigenic with her behavior.

Though I realize that it was a low risk exposure (through your site) and the symptoms do not necessarily indicate the possible infection and also, there are no such documented cases of getting HIV in the history (as I am only exposed to saliva - right?) I am still wondering why I am getting symptoms that are indicating towards having contracted the virus?

I would like to describe my symptoms:

1. Right from the fourth day onwards, I started feeling itchiness on various portions of my body and also reddish marks on the itching surface that look like mosquito bites and sometimes like a small pimple or group of very small pimples. This is still persistent in a mild form ( I guess), as it has not damaged the skin surface until now. Can these rashes be because of tension, depression etc. as well?

2. I also have sore inner lips & inner cheeks (that could be a part of a recent cold but not sure - in the window period only). I also feel roughness and see small blisters on the inner lower lip. Sides of my tongue also seem to be unwell but there are no visible pigmentation and white patches.

3. I had constipation before the exposure that still persists. Could the condition of my mouth related to this?

3. For almost a week (from 02-03-04) I am feeling stiffness (no visible swelling) in my right groin area which also results in heaviness in my right leg, right hip and right portion of lower back sometimes.

This was my second sexual experience ever and first in many years. Also, In Jan I got tested for HIV and it came out -ve but unfortunately all this happened afterwards.

I am extremely confused, depressed and alone here in Dubai. I cant talk to anyone, even to any medical practitioner for help here. The moment anyone suspects me as a likely case of HIV infection and reports, the authorities will deport me to my home country (India) immediately, which is going to be very insulting, as it is still a BIG taboo in this part of the world. It is so sad but all true.

I cant disclose this even to my loved ones, as it would hamper their lives terribly. I cant ask even ask them for any mental support. I am going to be putting everyone through a BAD time. Believe me that here it is better to die without letting anyone know what exactly happened rather than living and fighting it openly like it is done in your country. You guys are really providing excellent support to the needy across the globe and many more like me are so proud of your work, dedication and support to the mankind fighting against this deadly disease.

Sir, all I want is your support to cover up my remaining 9 weeks under your guidance and direction.

Please tell me frankly the possibility of me acquiring it, keeping in mind, my sores and uncircumcised foreskin.

Really hoping to hear from you this time.

Lonely worried well

Love and regards,

SRS

Response from Dr. Horwath

The rashes you describe from the fourth day are not indicative of HIV infection, nor is the soreness in your mouth, the constipation, or the leg, hip and back stiffness. If these problems really bother you,consult a dermatologist and/or orthopedist to get an opinion. The subject of HIV need not come up.

It sounds like you are suffering a severe anxiety reaction. Although the risk associated with this type of oral sex is not zero, it is extremely low (especially if done only once). If you have access to anonymous HIV testing, you should get tested. This should help reassure you.

You can save yourself all of this anguish in the future by always using a condom.



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