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D'OH! HIV test next week
May 1, 2003

Dear Dr. Bob, Respect for everything you do on this site, elsewhere and for maintaining such a wicked sense of humour. Inspirational - you make the possibility of infection seem a little more bearable. By the way next time you're here in Britain be sure to visit Cornwall - 'best scenery ever' as the Simpsons comic shop guy would say. Well, the window period's nearly up, and a few kind and sensible words from you would really help me keep a sense of perspective. Naturally my anxious brain has decided I'm positive already! Here's the situation: begins as protected (insertive) drunken sex with a woman of unknown serostatus, menstruating a little. Suddenly the condom slips and I'm aware it's got a long way down, so I pull out straight away. Good news - it hasn't come off completely and the urethra is not exposed. Bad news - when I was circumsized as a kid they left me with a small permanent scab just below the glans (which bleeds if you manage to dislodge it - this generally takes some effort), which was probably exposed to fluid for about 5 seconds(the condom would've slid over the top of it before I pulled out). Scabs are a barrier to infection, right? I rushed upstairs to the bathroom and didn't register anything amiss, so I'm assuming the scab didn't come off (which hasn't stopped the 'what ifs' coming). Is there much risk here? The woman in question said she slept around a bit, though she had condoms on her and was keen to use them for vaginal sex (though not for oral). So she may not have HIV in the first place - but, but, but. As I said, a few words from you might sort me out a bit. Thanks v. much for your time, and good luck with everything.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Now calm that "anxious brain" of yours down! Your condom stayed on, eve if it slipped a bit, so you are fine. Yes, scabs are barriers to infection. I do wonder about that "small permanent scab." Have you had a dermatologist or urologist check this out? It may indeed be "fixable." Stop "what-if-ing" and "but, but, but-ing." If youre a faithful reader of this forum, youll know they are completely unwarranted and far from helpful. Get the test and be prepared for a fabulous WOO-HOO! Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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