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Please doc, 8th time posting.....real exposure, not a lapdance or sitting on a toilet!
Jun 19, 2003

Please respond Doc - I know you get thousands of emails a day but most of them you answer seem to be from people who think they got HIV through a lapdance or by sitting on a toilet with acne on their ass!

Here's my story - I received unprotected oral sex for a couple of minutes and had protected vaginal intercourse with a promiscuous female while on vacation in Mexico in early October, 2002. Although both are vey low risk exposures the situation changed a week afterwards cause I developed genital herpes. My guess is she must have had a sore in her mouth that I couldn't see.

The following symptoms then appeared 3-4 weeks later: extreme fatigue, body aches and pains, chills, oral thrush (definitely), 15-20 petechiae, swollen submandibular glands, dry skin, loss of weight in the extremities, general malaise, constipation with pebble-like stools, and severe receding gums.

A mono test was negative and blood work after 4 weeks was normal.

To this day after 7 1/2 months I still have all of those symptoms above and then some including dyspnea, chest tightness, cold hands and feet, white fingernails, a unilateral swollen submandibular gland, rib pains, back pains, pain in the liver and spleen areas (intermittent), further weight loss in my legs, arms, face, and buttocks, a sore stiff neck, chills, flushing, and rashes/dryer skin.

I am terrified of getting tested cause not only do I think I have HIV but now all of my symptoms point to lymphoma which I know can occur at anytime during HIV. I feel my life is over and I don't know what to do?

The CDC says that no cases have ever been reported getting HIV from receiving oral sex but what else can it be?

I have every possible symptom of both HIV and lymphoma so soon after a very low risk exposure. People say most of these symptoms shouldn't occur for years after getting HIV, why are they happening so soon to me? Could lymphoma lower my immune system so fast to cause all of these later stage HIV symptoms so early?

I no longer enjoy going out with friends and having a few beers. I just hole myself up in my house thinking life is over and I'll never get married or have kids now.

Can all of this be possible Doc, have you seen this before? I'm not making these symptoms up and I'm not a worried well, it's so hard getting out of bed and going to work every day I'm so fatigued. The percentages just don't seem like it is possible but I can't see what else it can be besides HIV and lymphoma?

Please provide some guidance Doc and thanks in advance.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Youve diagnosed yourself as having HIV and lymphoma? Exactly what medical school did you graduate form? I seem to have missed that in your question.

Have I "seen this before?" Oh yes, every day. I would attribute the majority of your symptoms to anxiety, stress, and depression. You "feel your life is over" and are "terrified of getting tested." Your unprotected oral sex and protected vaginal intercourse are really not all that different form the lap dance worriers or the pimply butt toilet seat worriers. Sure, you may have contracted herpes, but remember, thats quite easy to get from oral sex. HIV is not! Your risk for HIV is extremely, extremely low. I can also assure you that you do not have lymphoma. How do I know? Well, thats where my medical school diploma comes in.

What should you do? You need the help of a psychiatrist who can help you cope with your irrational fears. Sure, have your general medical doctor check out your "symptoms." However, if no physical cause can be determined, then please consider the fact that your symptoms are psychologically induced. You mention that I get thousands of e-mails, and that is true. Please take some time to read back in the archives, and youll find many cases very similar to yours that I hope will give you the encouragement to get the help you need.

Good luck. And hey, is that a pimple I see forming on your butt?

Dr. Bob



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