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Of Lice and Men
Mar 8, 2004

Hi Dr Rob,

Please reply. I wouldnt want to have used the great Steinbeck reference in vain (although i actually prefer his classic Tortilla Flat...made me a dedicated wine drinker from a very young age;)

Anyway, I've stopped - thanks to you - irrationally worrying about about HIV...but now i've learned about STIs which can be picked up regardless of condon use - like herpes and pubic lice. Everytime i have casual sex (protected), i wake up worrying about having caught something. Is this warranted or am i being a bit of a Lenny (i.e. dumb)and deserved to be put out of my misery (i.e. shot in the head)?

I know u are essentially a HIV specialist but can u shed some light on the matter?

Is it worth worrying aboud things like pubic lice and herpes (and even syphilis) which can be transmitted regarless of condom use?

All the best,

Rob.D.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Yes, STD's can be a problem and should be taken into consideration whenever we place ourselves at risk. But remember to keep those risks in perspective. It's not helpful to trade irrational worry about HIV for irrational worry about other illnesses. The information about various STD's is readily available. If you have specific questions, I'd be happy to address them for you. But I think the problem you really need to "shed some light" on is your tendency to irrationally worry. Consider getting some counseling to help you deal with irrational fears and to keep potential problems in perspective. You'll never wind up East of Eden" if you continue with your "Grapes of Wrath," stemming from an irrational "Winter of our Discontent." My standard poodle, Presto, and I suggest you tame your unwarranted anxieties and consider going on some "Travels with Charley in Search of America."

Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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