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caught HIV through oral and no one beleives me!
Sep 7, 2003

Dear Dr Bob;

Im in a pretty damn nasty situation, im 17 years old and 8 weeks ago I received an unprotected bj, and im pretty damn sure im now infected with HIV. I freaked out from the word go and have been a stressed paranoid wreck since, unable to leave my house. The day after this happened I noticed a stinging in the tip of my penis, in the next few days this was only present for a minute or so after I urinated. My gp gave me antibiotics for a urine infection, but ive been since told this could have been because of the trauma id put myself through the night it happened

Anyway 3 days after my possible exposure I started experiencing symptoms and over the past 8 weeks, ive developed the classic textbook ars, from rashes to fever to loose bowel to night sweats, the only ars symptom I havent had is swollen lymph nodes, although I have had armpit pain. Im trying to take some comfort from the fact that ars doesnt usually start this early, or last this long, and that some of my symptoms have disappeared then returned, but I cant see what else it can be, as ive tested negative to all other stds. I did test negative to HIV at 7 weeks, but I realise that is pretty meaningless.

All my doctors here in England believe its all in my head, down to stress and anxiety, everyone suggests counselling but I know that im infected and I feel so alone as no one else believes me, im scared that people wont believe this was my exposure when I test positive as its said theres never been a documented case of someone being this way. Ive physically started to feel better in last few days which suggests I could be coming out of ars, but the clinic are refusing to test me until the 13th week, as they feel there was no need for me to test in the first place. I simply dont feel I can wait that long to find out, is there any hope for me at all? I know its a hard virus to transmit, I didnt see any blood in her mouth or have any cuts but I remember it being a toothy experience. I cant believe this has happened, this was my first proper sexual encounter, please help me Bob youre my last hope!!!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Some of your reasoning is quite rational, and I agree with it totally:

1)"ARS doesn't usually start this early or last this long."

2)"I know it's a hard virus to transmit."

3)"There's never been a documented case of someone being infected this way."

Some of your reasoning is quite irrational, and I disagree with it totally:

1)"I'm pretty damn sure I'm now infected with HIV." (I'm even more damn sure you aren't.)

2)"I've developed the classic textbook ARS." (No, your symptoms are much more consistent with classic textbook anxiety. You just read the wrong textbook!)

3)"I can't see what else it can be." (Of course you can't. You're not a doctor. You are, in your words, a "stressed paranoid wreck.")

4)"Everyone suggest counseling . . . . No one believes me." (Well, if "all your doctors believe it's all in your head and related to stress and anxiety" and I absolutely agree with them, shouldn't you at least consider the possibility we might be right? You complain that no one believes you. Perhaps it's the other way around: You seem not to believe everyone! Counseling can't hurt. Why refuse to give it a try?

If indeed I'm your last hope, perhaps you'll heed my advice. Get counseling now! Go ahead and take another HIV test at the 3-month period. It will be negative. Your "textbook symptoms" will magically disappear and then you'll write back to me yelling, "WOO-HOO." I'll be waiting to say, "I told you so!" In the meantime, some counseling can help you through this difficult time. You'll soon be an x-worried well. I'll look forward to officially "x-ing" you soon!

Dr. Bob



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