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every single symptom present, positive for sure
Aug 2, 2004

Dear Dr. Bob, I had an unprotected oral sex experience with a man (giving not receiving) at the end of april of this year. he did not cum and it was for around a minute in duration. three weeks later i came down with a fever of 103, sever sore throat with post nasal drip and a severe cough, as well as tiredness, lack of appetite, trouble sleeping, etc. i also had a rash on my elbows for a few days, which may have been on my fingers too for a few days, i honestly forget. the rash was a slightly raised rash similiar to poison ivy, but not as itchy. i also felt lymph glands, about a centimeter in diameter, in both armpits. the fever left after about 4 or 5 days, but i was left with an ear infection and conjecitivitus for about a week. during this time i tested negative for mono and strep. i know that oral sex poses such a low risk, but having tested negative for these other conditions, what else could i have? i am currently awaiting testing results in a couple weeks, but i fear i already know the results and that my life is ruined. i did, however, test negative for chlamydia, ghonorea and syphilis, further enhancing my fears that HIV is the only explanation for my condition. please respond, i actually have a real risk and real symptoms unlike, it seems sometimes, many of the letters you answer. i plan to donate as soon as i find out my test results, good or bad. thank you for your response in advance. ~positive in MA

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Positive in MA,

You're "positive for sure," because of your "real risk and real symptoms" . . . . Hmmmm, first off, I can assure you everyone who writes into this forum believes he or she has had a "real risk" and is experiencing "real symptoms."

So now let's look at the facts:

1. Your risk is brief oral sex without ejaculation with a guy whose HIV status is unknown. That puts your "real risk" in the extremely, extremely low category.

2. Your "real symptoms" could be related to any one of a large number of conditions that I will not bother to list here. If symptoms persist, see your doctor for an evaluation and stop taking the quantum leap to assume these vague symptoms have to be related to HIV. The odds are astronomical that they are not.

So "positive in MA," your "real risk" and "real symptoms" turn out to be exactly like the "many letters I answer" that you are complaining about. I hope you are content now that I took the time to answer yours.

I'll look forward to your WOO-HOO, and perhaps you better apologize to the other readers of this forum who might have been offended by your remarks that their concerns aren't really "real."

By the way, I can assure you that you do not have "every single symptom present" as your question implies.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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