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Sub-Saharan scare
May 13, 2003

Dear Dr. Bob,

I recently traveled to a high-risk area, sub-saharan Africa, where I met a beautiful African princess and did something that has worried me for the past 2 months. This girl was definitely very aware of AIDS, and told me that she takes precautions ever time- which is true, as she demanded that I wore TWO condoms, were we to have penetrative sex. Anyway, the point is: I did not have penetrative sex with her, but she performed fellatio on me (unprotected) and I briefly performed cunnilingus on her (also unprotected). Since the incident happened I called her, explained my worries, and she told me that she understood but that there was nothing to be scared of, as she got tested 5 months ago and resulted negative. I am still very scared. I also caught Malaria whilst in Africa, fell sick 10 days after the sexual encounter and again 24 days later. What do you think? Should I get tested or am I just being paranoid? I appreciate your time, I will make a donation very soon,

Bob

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Bob,

I like your name.

Does Africa still have princesses? The one you met sounds very reliable indeed. Oral sex carries an extremely small risk of transmitting HIV. With each new published study, the risk seems to decrease further. That said, I must also point out that a theoretical risk remains and we cannot say that oral sex is absolutely 100 per cent safe. Considering you contracted malaria while in Africa, Im not surprised you felt a bit ill. Should you get tested? Only you can decide that. All I can do is tell you your odds of contracting HIV from this type of exposure would be extremely, extremely rare.

Thank you for your donation. Well use it to provide medications for HIV-positive pregnant women in Sub-Saharan Africa to decrease the risk they will transmit the virus to their unborn children.

Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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