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Reading your forum is more entertaining than watching the YanksVsRedSox
Oct 20, 2004

Okay maybe not but your forum is quite fun to read. I just want to say Dr. Bob, U ARE DA MAN! You got heart and a great sense of humor and I truly admire you. You define what a hero is. This is my 5th time writing to you and I understand you get bombarded with these types of mail everyday but my life has been falling apart these days due to my fear and anxiety over HIV and the only way I can overcome these feelings is through getting answers directly from you. So I would truly appreciate if you could provide me some help.

Anyway, herefs my storyc

On September 5, I hooked up with a girl who goes to my school. About a week after, I heard that she had given oral sex to several guys in the past, 2 weeks before she hooked up with me being the most recent. It was around September 10 when I started feeling anxious and scared over the possibility that I might have caught HIV from her. We engaged in extremely low-risky sexual activities: deep kissing (I did not have any cuts/sores in my mouth but I get semi-annual checkups and according to my dentist, I have gums that are little inflamed. However I did not brush my teeth since the night before the incident), fingering her (no noticeable cuts or sores on my fingercbut who knows!! I could have had a little cut on my cuticle), massaging her underwear (near the vaginal area) with my mouth (did it for 30-45 secondscher underwear was dry and I did not taste any vaginal secretion in mouth but maybe very tiny amount of vaginal secretion could have soaked through her underwear and touched my lip) and receiving unprotected oral sex (Ifm uncircumcised and according to my doctor, I have some bumps on my penis that commonly appears on the surface of uncircumcised penis. Also, I wasnft able to get gith up when she was performing it. So we eventually gave up. Do these factors lower/increase my risk?)

Anyway, since then, Ifve been getting symptoms that could be (Ifm almost positive IT IS) an indication that Ifm infected with HIV.

1. Sore Throat (Not flu-like sore throat but I just feel something on my throat coupled with a lot of phlegm)

2. Dry Mouth

3. Constipation (had it for 2 weeks. Now itfs gone)

4. Weight Loss (I lost 10 pounds (dropped from 141 to 131 lbs) in 3-4 weeks! To be fair, my diet has changed--there were 4-5 days when I only had 1 meal, several days when I only 2 meals, I stopped going to the gym but Ifve been playing tennis once or twice a week. I have really high metabolism. But 10 pounds is just ridiculous!! There were periods when I didnft go to the gym for 3 months and still managed to maintain my weight)

5. Minor Tingling on my arms, lower part of stomach, back of my neck, and groin. ( I donft think my groin is swollen)

6. Depression (I heard depression is a symptom of HIV. Is this true? I'm starting to feel bit better these days. Not sure if this is because I began seeing a counselor or maybe because I'm near the end of the HIV acute period)

Ifve been depressed and tremendously anxious for almost 4 weeks now. I stopped doing things that I usually do like partying. These days, I feel like Ifm just gfloatingh, thinking that Ifm going to die in 10-15 years. Ifm almost positive that I have HIV (Ifm especially convinced by the weight loss). I feel so hopeless. Please help me Dr. Bob. What is my risk and should I go get tested?

Also, where do I go to give donation?

-- JohnKerrylicious!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

OK, maybe I can't compete with the Red Sox chasing history or trying to change destiny, but even the American League playoffs can't compete with Dubya's saying he "doesn't know" if being gay is a choice, "doesn't know" if global warming is real and "doesn't know" if evolution exists. Or best of all, his amazing and consistent mangling of the word nuclear!

OK, on to your questions:

1. What is your risk? I agree with your own assessment. In your exact words, "We engaged in extremely low-risk sexual activity." (Deep kissing, fingering, "massaging her underwear," unprotected oral, etc.)

2. Your symptoms? Your symptoms are very consistent with depression and anxiety, not HIV. Read through the archives of this forum. The testimonials there should offer you considerable reassurance.

3. Should you get tested? Only you can decide that. All I can do is let you know your HIV risk. In that regard, we agree: "extremely low" at best. You feel "almost positive that you have HIV". I feel just the opposite. An HIV test just may be the most efficient way for you to calm your unjustified fears. That would be the only "medical" reason I would recommend testing.

4. Donations? Information about donations to my foundation can be found at www.concertedeffort.org. Thank you!

5. JohnKerrylicious!?! Abso-frickin'-lutely!

Dr. Bob



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