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Please, please please HELP!
Nov 9, 2004

Hello from the sunny Spain, dr Bob. This is a 28 y.o extremely wooooorrrrieeeed girl. I've been surfing the webpage for more than two long months and I can only say thank you very very much for the wonderful support you give to the "desperate" and extremely scared people like me... My question is about wohoooing. I had a protected intercourse with a man whose hiv status I don't know on Aug 19th. He was sexually active and had had several partners (not me... he was my fourth partner in all my life). he has travelled a lot and lived in third world countries, so this increases my fears (although he told me that he had always used protection in his relationships). Everything ok to this point since as far as I know the condom apparently didn't break nor slipped off. The problem is that about a couple of weeks after the sexual encounter I started to feel bad: i had a sensation of having a big cold, my nose was running, my body aching, headache... I didn't have an important fever (my maximum temperature was 37.2 celsius, which I think is about 99 farenheits). The syntoms were appearing and disappearing for some days: it seemed I was recovered , then they came back... Apparently I didn't have an oral trush although I had slight pain in my throat some days (especially after teaching...). My lymph nodes weren't swollen but for a couple of days I could notice a slight pain in my armpit.I was examined by the doctor and she touched my lymph nodes and dind't find anything strange, she said everything was right! Since I was so so so scared, my doctor ordered me some blood analysis and the all came perfect: the exams included hemogram, liver, tiroid, etc... and everything was on the correct range (the date of the analysis was September 15). Lymphocites, red cells, the sedimentation speed (which shows if there is an infection)... everything was perfect!!! Anyway, I was getting obsessed about hiv: the more I readed, the surest I was that I had it. I talked to my doc again and begged her to take a hiv antibody testing. She told me that I didn't show the typical symptoms and that what was happening to me was due to stress and anxiety, but I insisted so much that she ordered the test. I knew I would have had to wait more time but I couldn't, and took the antibody testing 48 days after the encounter. It came back negative. Now it's been almost three months and I'm still so anxious: I can't sleep at nights, I can't work, since I'm obsessed . My doctor says its not necessary to retest, that the results are trustable and that I haven't shown symptoms to be worried. I've seen also a psichiatrist and he agrees my doctor, and says its psichosomatic (so, I'm more hypocondriac than Woody Allen...). But I want a third opinion and this time, from a REAL EXPERT, that's why I write you. Also I have readed different opinions in "The body page". You usually recommend the test at three months, but readed other docs that answer that normally someone infected should test positive after 7 weeks, and encouraging to wohoo after a test taken in this frame of time (Also I wonder that the difference from 1-2 weeks could make a test change from indeterminate to positive, right? could it go from negative to positive so fastly???). I'm also terribly affraid of retesting. What are my chances of being infected with this story??? Many many many many thanks, you are an angel, doc. I wonder If I can make donations to your project from Spain. P.S: sorry for my English, I hope you are able to understand...

Spanish girl going crazy

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Spanish Girl Going Crazy,

OK, it's now official. Your "third opinion" from a REAL EXPERT agrees absolutely with your other two opinions.

Your HIV risk is nonexistent, assuming the latex condom was used properly and didn't fail. Your symptoms are consistent with anxiety and stress, not HIV. No additional testing is warranted or necessary, other than to perhaps calm your fears.

Continue to work with your psychiatrist. Fear of HIV, NOT HIV itself, is your real problem

Donation information for my foundation can be found at www.concertedeffort.org.

Dr. Bob



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