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Whoo-hooing permission/Want Sound Advice
Oct 5, 2003

Please answer, my 4th time trying, and I really do want to donate!!!!!!

First, I want to say Dr. Bob has been my 'hero' these last few months as I have been going crazy!! Thanks for all your support, my Cyber Doctor Expert! You are very much admired.

OK, here's my story. 3 Months ago after an emotional breakup of a 6 year relationship, I had unprotected insertive oral sex with a date and then later an ex-boyfriend. What was I thinking? I was freaking out since the incident, and was checking my hands and feet for syphilis and rashes, ect, because at the time I did not think HIV was a real risk. Well after the second month, I did develop a rash (slightly itchy red bumps) at the base of my hands, coming and going for a few days here and there. After this I really freaked out. I saw that this was a symptom of HIV ARS. Started having headaches, diarrhea, and started to notice my skin was very sensitive. Eventually got dry flaky skin, my skin would turn red at the touch of anything, and I began feeling my lymph nodes. After a few days, they hurt and became swollen and I can hear a clicking sound when I swallow. My doctor says my throat is not red, but this may just be a sinus problem?! Theyve been swollen for A MONTH!

I went to the Doctor and told him about my exposure, and told him I was tested within the last 6 months prior to the incident and was negative. He said there was no need to get tested because of the extremely low risk. Well my lymph nodes were very sore and hurt, and were swollen to the touch. I had a low grade fever when I walked in, and was in panic and crying. The first time my doctor felt my lymph nodes, he said they were normal. During my second visit he pointed out that one of my lymph nodes in my neck was swollen up to the size of a peanut. He verified it was very swollen. (They both felt swollen to me, but the left one was enlarged) I told him all my lymph nodes were swollen, and he felt around but didnt seem concerned and said that I should take the HIV test, even though he felt it was not warranted, to give me peace of mind.

I got my results at 3 months a few days ago (91 days post exposure) and it was negative. My lymph nodes are still swollen and my throat still feels kind of sore (and my skin still very dry and sensitive). My doctor thinks that the enlarged lymph node in my neck is swollen because Ive been touching them and Ive been focusing on them. Could this be true? Should I worry for another 3 months and test again? The symptoms and timing are all perfect, and with my skin conditions (which Ive NEVER had before) and lymph nodes are all signs of viruses, right? Everyone (including my ex-bf of 6 years has tested negative at or around 3 months post exposure time) I keep thinking, what are the chances now??

I beg you, please answer. Ive seen many posts, but not much addressing true lymph node problems. I want to donate, as well, since I believe you are doing a great thing!!!

So Doc, do I WHOO-HOO?! Or be cautious and wait? Im trying to be rational here, and really think about what these symptoms mean.

Anxious Florida College Guy

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Anxious Florida College Guy,

Insertive oral sex carries a miniscule risk for HIV. Your partners and you have all tested HIV negative 3 months after any potential exposure. So, no one has HIV and you were engaged in an extremely, extremely low-risk situation. What are they teaching you in that Florida college anyway? Certainly not deductive reasoning! First, if none of your potential partners is HIV-positive, they can't transmit HIV. Second, your risk was nearly nonexistent. Third, you tested negative at 3 months, and this is considered definitive.

So instead of WOO-HOOing, you are panicking and crying? Why? Because of your peanut-sized lymph node and dry sensitive skin? Relax, College Guy. Neither the isolated lymph node nor skin symptoms are consistent with HIV seroconversion.

Should you WOO-HOO? Abso-frickin'-lutely! Waiting is not being cautious; it's being foolish and irrational. Over the Internet, I can't tell you the exact cause of your symptoms, but I can definitely tell you what's not causing them. It's not HIV! Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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