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May 2, 2003

Dear Dr. Bob, please post this message for all the worriers (like me) who believe that after protected sex they somehow caught HIV and bug you with all sorts of questions on symptoms etc.

I gave a female sex worker protected oral sex ( and received unprotected oral), we had protected vaginal sex. Condoms did not break and I was not drunk. Odds of infection almost zero (odds of winning the state lottery almost zero). No further thoughts of infection until i end up with a cough/ear ache/hoarse voice/tonsillitis (as diagnosed by the doctor) 47 days after the incident.

My reaction: 1) waste time on the net checking on timeframe for HIV acute symptoms to manifest themselves. Result is that some sites say 1-4 weeks (like The Body), others 2-6 weeks (so i am not in the timeframe) but then one site mentions 1-12 weeks (help I am right in the middle and dont know what to do),

2) My symptoms (coughing but more at night, green/yellow mucus produced from blowing my nose, congested nose, laryngitis, sore throat, swollen glands, fever, ear ache/otitis media, tonsillitis). Doctor says it is an upper respiratory problem and not HIV. I wonder if he can recognise the primary symptoms since I have read (on the NET) that a lot of the time doctors fail to recognise it. I check the symptoms on the net and i see everything is fine and logical until one site mentions that tonsillitis and coughing are also common symptoms. Result NET PANIC . Conclusion I AM POSITIVE even though the antibiotics cleared everything up. Dont know what to do to get out of this mess.

6 weeks down the road (constant reading all the time on the net) I have a fever come on at 38.5 C, brufen gets rid of it, 10 hours later its back but with some swollen glands, ear ache, sore throat, pain when swallowing, neck is very tender.

I see the same doctor and he says it tonsillitus again and otitis media. I say are you sure because i know its HIV and I have to tell my family about it sooner rather than later (so I want to take the rapid test). He tells me that what i have has nothing to do with acute HIV and agrees reluctantly to do the test. I wait 30 minutes for the results and guess what? ITS NEGATIVE NEGATIVE NEGATIVE

My conclusions: 1) i was convinced i had HIV even though the symptoms were nothing like HIV. 2) i doubted the expert opinion of the doctor. 3) odds of catching HIV from protected oral/vaginal sex/unprotected blowjob are almost like the odds of winning the country lottery jackpot ( i have never won it by the way).

I can finally WOOHOOOOO.

I do hope that you have received by now via post 100 euros for your foundation.

Stay well yourself.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Thank you for taking the time to share your story! Im hopeful that others will recognize they too can wake up from their own self-induced nightmares -- and WOO-HOO!

The Euros havent arrived yet. Perhaps the Pony Express is a bit slow this week. When the donation arrives, please know that it will be used to help men, women, and children with HIV who are in desperate need of crucial services. On their behalf, please accept my sincere appreciation and warmest regards.

Dr. Bob


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