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Belgian Fever, coming out dr. Bob
May 21, 2003

Hello dr. Bob,

Please help me, I'm so confused !!!! Couple of months ago, a guy in a bar seduced me to a couple of deepkisses. I was quite charmed by this man; although it was kind of confusing to me since this has been my very first gay contact. I'm 29 years old, and in the past I had some heterosexual relationships which just didn't seem to work out for me. In the two years following my last relationship, I've been turning down some very pretty ladies - all of them willing to make the first move on me -, my friends call me crazy. It took me a long time to realize that I'm gay, couldn't admit it to myself in the past and covering it up with heterosexual behaviour. On top of all this confusion the guy I kissed - I met him only once - told me he had aids; I admit it: I got scared, turned off and didn't fancy the fact that he only told me untill after the deep kissing. I had minor symptoms blown out of proportion, stress and anxiety in the months following this episode, 'cause I wasn't well educated on the matter. I found out that the CDC recommends against deep kissing. Anyway to put my fears behind me I tested negative Elisa at 12.5 weeks. I had a swollen mandibular lymph node at the time I had my results back a week later. I asked the doc about it, he told me it wasn't hiv related since I tested negative. I feel like being the exception to the rule and late-converting. Four months after my possible exposure I had a very warm (feverish?) swollen left jaw; the doc said it was an abcess, and that I should have one of the wisdom teeth pulled - he prescribed a ten days antibiotix course. After two days on abx I went to a dentist who performed X-ray on which he didn't see no sign of abcess. The first days on antibiotix my pain worsened, and travelled from my teeth to my actual jaw joint - which was then painful to open and close. At the end of the abx course my pain was gone. Could this have been late ARS, wiil I be positive on my 20 week test? Did the abx clear the jaw infection, or was it the self-limiting nature of ARS itself? What do you think? Since you and your colleages are such helpful people, I would like to donate the little money I have to your foundation. Since I'm from Belgium could you give me some guidelines on how to donate overseas.

the best of luck to you dr. Bob, and thanks for your compassion to the worried

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Belgium Guy,

Coming to grips with ones sexual identity can be challenging; however, Im convinced its absolutely essential for optimum health and happiness. And its definitely worth all the effort!

So, are you the "exception to the rule?" No. Your risk is deep kissing a charming HIV-positive man. This carries essentially a negligible risk for HIV transmission. Your 12.5-week negative ELISA is absolutely conclusive you are HIV-negative. No further testing is needed. All subsequent tests will also be negative.

The jaw pain could have been any of a number of things TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome), dental problems, etc. These symptoms are not at all suggestive of ARS. So Belgium guy, take a few deep breaths, relax, yell, "WOO-HOO," and put all those fears to rest. They are totally unfounded.

Congratulations and WOO-HOO!

Thank you for your willingness to contribute to my foundation. From overseas, the most convenient method would be a direct wire transfer. The wiring instructions are as follows:

Mellon Bank Pittsburgh, P.A. ABA # 043000261 Credit ML Account Number 101-1730 Further Credit to: Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation Account # 830-04C48 Swift number MELN US 3P

Any questions regarding the wire transfer may be directed to Linda Godfrey. You may call collect at 732-627-6600 or e-mail her at LGodfrey@pclient.ml.com.

Stay well. I wish you health, happiness, and peace!

Dr. Bob



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