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Fear is consuming me, please help! second request
Mar 30, 2004

This is my second email to you guys. I was the guy who emailed a couple of days ago who had received and gave oral sex (only) to a girl unprotected whose status is unknown in the beginning of February. A week or so, maybe a little more after, I had swollen neck glands for a couple of weeks until the doctor prescribed a 10 day antibiotic which took them away. I also had minor fever during that time period which also went away with the antiobiotic and a redness that has developed on my right upper cheek and nose area but has never gone away (the doctor says this is Rosacea but how does this just "show up" things like that DONT happen!).

I was given a complete battery of tests the first time I saw this doctor on March 10th (about 30 days after the encounter)and two days later I received all negative results, including HIV. I was somewhat happy about this until I read here that having the test so soon is pretty much useless and the fear returned. My biggest worry about HIV ARS is something no one else here ever complains about. Between march 10th and now I have lost 4lb. and have had intermittent loss of appetite. Now, the Friday after I received the test results I started eating somewhat normal again while I was on vacation in texas, and I also DID play alot of strenuous excercise games while I was down there. I will get tested again at 3 months but I know these symptoms are directly related to ARS and im worried beyond belief. I dont know what to do.

You are awesome and the help that you provide is without equal Dr. Frascino. I will be sending a donation please provide the address.

Worried in Kansas...again.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Kansas Guy (. . . again),

You "know" these symptoms are directly related to ARS. Really??? May I ask how you "know" this to be true? Next, you state you are "worried beyond belief" and "don't know what to do." OK, first thing is to read the archives of this forum. Yes, read all of them. That should take you about three months or so -- if you read quickly. What you'll find there are a gazillion folks just like you worried beyond belief, convinced they have HIV, blah, blah, blah. As you follow their testimonials, you'll see that none of them actually winds up having HIV.

Let's look at the facts, shall we? Oral sex is your only risk. Oral sex carries an extremely low risk for HIV transmission. Your symptoms responded to an antibiotic, which means they were caused by a bacterium, not a virus. Antibiotics fight bacteria, but don't have any effect on viral infections. Next, Rosacea. What do you mean things like that don't happen? Rosacea is a very common skin disorder. Do you think all the folks that have it were born with it? No, it just "showed up" one day. Same thing with eczema, hives, and loads of other conditions. Going on, you say your biggest worry is something no one else here ever complained about your "intermittent loss of appetite and a four-pound weight loss" Kansas Guy, why would other folks on this site complain about you losing a few pounds do you really think those loves handles are attractive. OK seriously, again I suggest you read the archives. You'll see anorexia and weight loss are very common complaints and frequently related to stress, anxiety and depression. Your story extremely low-risk exposure (oral sex) followed by nonspecific symptoms followed by irrational fears is neither unusual nor rare. My advice is always the same. If you've placed yourself at risk for HIV, you'll need HIV testing three months or more after the potential exposure. Since it will take you three months to read the archives and by doing so you'll hopefully realize your risk is extremely rare, by the time you actually do go for your test you should be much more relaxed. The odds are astronomically in your favor that you have not contracted HIV from this minimal potential exposure. Your story will most likely have a happy (WOO-HOO) ending, just like the other gazillion in the archives. Write back with your test results, and we'll make you the "gazillionand-one" worried well to be inducted into the X-Files (Ex-Worried Well's).

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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