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long time reader first time questioner
Mar 16, 2004

Dear Dr. Bob, I have been reading the forums on the Body since approximately June of 2000 when I had my first risky experience. I read the archives and forums and they really helped me cope with my fears and gave me great deal of knowledge about HIV and STD's. However, on to my question. Last October I had another risky encounter, and I have tested at 1 week, 60 days, and 90 days. All tests were non-reactive. However, just recently maybe the last week or so I have been getting these early morning cold sweats that leave my sheets pretty wet. I pretty much have told myself I am okay, but now with these recent night/early a.m. sweats I am contemplating the accuracy of my HIV tests, and am asking for your advice whether or not I should test again at 6 months, which would be approximately 3 weeks from now. Should I retest at 6 months or does you recommendation of 3 months stand???

I greatly appreciate your help and what you do , and as soon as I get my financial situation worked out I will be sending a donation. You must be one of the hardest working individuals in the industry and we here asking questions and seeking advice would be lost without you. Thank You Dr. Frascino.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Longtime Reader, First-time Questioner,

Without knowing any details of your risky encounter, it's a bit difficult for me to speak in absolute terms. For instance, if you had receptive anal sex with a partner known to be HIV-positive or shared needles with an HIV-positive person, then the CDC's recommendation would be to get a six-month test, even if your three-month test was negative. However, if you had the more usual type of exposure, say oral sex while swinging on a trapeze, while wearing your great aunt's lace nightie, and while singing a full-throated, ferociously committed version of "Someday My Prince Will Come," well then my three-month recommendation would stand. Early-morning sweats can be associated with a wide variety of medical conditions. Without any related symptoms, it would be extremely unlikely that HIV is the cause. If they continue, have your general medical doctor give you the once-over. Also, if you remain concerned about HIV, go ahead and retest at the six-month mark, although, from what you've told me, I don't feel it's necessary.

Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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