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I AM DEFINITELY POZ DR. BOB PLEASE HELP! PLEASE!--not another protected sex question
Jun 3, 2004

Dr. Bob, I had UNPROTECTED sex with my previous girlfriend on several occassions (12-14 times)in the spring of 2003. Unfortunately, our relationship did not last because it was so fast paced. 6 weeks after we had broken up, I presented with a slight of hives on my torso. The bottom of my eyes also swelled up, which was a little odd at first but then things started to get a ton worse. My tongue started to burn, my lymph nodes swelled (only in my neck), I have had GI problems all of my life but Ive been having EXTREME GAS, loose bowels, and apthuous ulcers for over 1 year now. This has been incredibly taxing on me as I am only a 19 yr. old male. The sex got very rough at times, I know if she were to have HIV, I would be infected as well.

That is my dilemma Dr. Bob, these symptoms have lasted for over one year with constant draining in my ears and fatigue like crazy, not to mention a 2 week bout with angular cheilitis. Oh and the persistent burning white tongue I still have. I have also had severe itchy and dry skin. When the what I thought back then were ARS symptoms first started (April 2003) I went to my doc and he tested me for candida by taking a culture of my tongue. That test came back neg (One good thing).

Here is the most confusing part of all of this: My ex's dad is a gynecologist so you'd think she would protect herself, but I learned that she had 5 high risk encounters prior to mine. 5! She told me that before the symptoms set in, and I freaked out since then. So I began analyzing all of the websites possible (thank god I came across yours at least it gives me hope and education). She had been tested (she claims) prior to our relationship and was negative. I made her get tested again, and again she was negative. I have remained in contact with her and she recently went in for her 1 year check up, again her results were negative. This is the ONLY girl that I have ever had sex with in my entire life and it put me on zoloft to try to calm me down. I am an HIV phobe to the extreme, let me tell you! She could inform you of that too because during the anxiety induced insomnia that has persisted for over 1 year, I would call her at 2 and 3 am to ask her if it would all be ok of course she always said yes, and then would cry as I pissed her off so much at herself and "made her feel like sh*t." Dr. Bob I have had everything and the only symptom that has gone away is the angular cheilitis. I never had a fever either. The hives lasted for about 3 weeks. I also suffer from allergies, but I do not believe they are the cause of all this.

I have also been under tremendous stress since last spring as I appeared in court for another problem with a friend (that was handled and is over thank heaven). THESE SYMPTOMS HAVE NOT GONE AWAY FOR OVER 1 YEAR! I guess Acute Viral Syndrome is not so Acute is it?

I have been to afraid to get tested myself as I just went through my first year of college and I currently have the most wonderful girlfriend in the world (we are not sexually active).

So what is your take Dr. Bob? Do I trust the ex whose gyn thinks I am insane (her gyn is not her father obviously). I am too scared to get tested without your professional opinion and I am sick of being an absolutely neuropathic individual. I NEED TO KNOW THAT IT WILL BE OK!

Happy Friday to you kind Dr. Bob, donation to follow your response as I may be a direct beneficiary of HIV/AIDS research (we all will once they cure this crazy disease). Sincerely, Scared in MN

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Scared in MN HIV-phobe,

Here are a few quick comments you can read on your way to get HIV tested:

1. Unprotected sex does place you at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV; however, if your "ex" was your only potential exposure and she's tested repeatedly negative out to a year since your last "fast paced" contact, then you can be quite certain you are not HIV positive. You can't catch something from somebody, if that somebody doesn't have it in the first place!

2. Acute viral syndrome categorically does not last for a year. Whatever is causing your symptoms, it's not HIV Acute Retroviral Syndrome.

3. Being afraid to get tested because you just finished your first year of college and currently have "the most wonderful girlfriend in the world" makes as much sense as Bush blaming the events of 9/11 on Saddam Hussein. In other words, there is no legitimate connection here.

4. If you're tired of being an "absolutely neuropathic individual," get tested. It really is that simple. And yes, it will be OK. From what you've told me, you're as negative as a Bush TV ad trying to discredit Kerry.

5. Thank you for your donation. It's warmly appreciated. 6. If you think "EXTREME GAS" has been "incredibly taxing" on you, just think what it's been like for all those around you.

7. Relax, dude. You've got nothing to worry about. Get tested to set your mind at ease, stop eating refried beans to cut back on your farting, stock-up on air freshener just in case it's not the refried beans and don't forget to send me your WOO-HOO very soon, OK?

Dr. Bob



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