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Symptoms of the disease or the mind
Jul 6, 1999

Dear Dr.,

Here is my story. About three weeks ago, my friends treated me to a strip clup where I was given a lap dance. It wasn't until afterwards that I rememberd about HIV. I have wrote to other people and talked to numberous hotlines about the possibility of infection. They all agreed that my chances were extremely low if not none at all. I was happy to hear that. But then about one week ago, I started feeling sick. I had headaches, eye pressure, loss of equilibrium, fever (low grade), stiff neck, and some pain above my growing (along the waste line). Then I remember reading that these flu like symptoms are present during the initial stages of infection. My doctor said that I might have just had a sinus infection and that these are just consequences but I am still worried. As much as I can recall about the night at the strip club, the only thing the girl did was rub up and down against me in my croch area and she was wearing underware and I was fully dressed. But now with all these symptoms that I have, I see myself making up sinarios (excuse the spelling) where I think something might have happend while a part of me still believes nothing did. Now I don't know what really happend any more and I scared to death of having contracted something. Also, just for reference, I am engaged to woman who I love with all my heart and cannot live without. Am I feeling guilty? Were these symptoms of mine just coincidental? Am I insane? Please help me!

Response from Mr. Shernoff

You are making yourself crazy needlessly. There is no risk.

Michael Shernoff, MSW



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