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Living like a monk
Jun 6, 2004

Doc, I am one of those who have not been able to take your advice. I am approaching the one year mark after a low risk exposure (Thailand, unprotected oral/protected intercourse) and I just can't get myself to take a test.

My problem is that I still have symptoms literally every day (it started 1 month after possible exposure: groin pain, elbow pain, pain under my arms, earlier I also had pain behind my knees. These are not psychosomatic, as I was not worried at all before the symptoms - I thought that I had practiced safe sex). Sometimes they gradually subside somewhat, then they get stronger for several days whenever I am tired, sick or after a long night out drinking. I had earlier decided that I would put off the testing issue for a while, thinking that if I stopped thinking about it my symptoms would go away and then it would be easier to go take the test.

And I did indeed not worry much about possible HIV for the last few months. Still, my symptoms remain... I know there is not much you can say except "get tested" and "symptoms can be anything". And I will try to make it to the clinic before the 1 year mark, if nothing else I am tired of living in celibacy..

Just two quick questions: How common is it for HIV positives to have constant joint pains and muscle aches, and does dull pain in areas where the lymphnodes are concentrated qualify as "swollen nodes"? (I cant feel any obvious lumps.)

Thanks for a fantastic service. Even if you may not have time to answer my question, I am grateful for all that I have learned from your forum.

I have promised myself that if I can make it to take a test - and if it comes out negative - I will donate 1000 bucks to your foundation. Hope that day will come soon..

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

"Unprotected oral/protected intercourse" would carry only a very, very small risk for HIV transmission. Your symptoms are not suggestive of HIV ARS; consequently, delving into details about HIV joint pains or lymph node pain is an irrelevant exercise of mental masturbation.

What do you mean you have not been able to take my advice? I strongly suggest you reread the entire archives of this forum. You'll find gazillions of stories just like yours all with the same happy WOO-HOO ending.

Why fritter away your days with needless (and groundless) anxiety, living like a monk, when you should be out there "monk-eying" around! Safely, of course! I can assure you that "monk-eying" is a hell of a lot more fun than "monking."

I'm waiting for your WOO-HOO! I'll expect to have it on my desk within a week. Don't let me down, OK?

Dr. Bob



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