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You are one amazing human being!!!!!~
Nov 17, 2004

Dr. Bob, I have written you in the past without a reply, which I fully understand. I think it probably made me feel better just to type it out. My possible exposure was roughly well almost 17 months ago now. I was tested two months ago for HIV 1&2 per ELISA. The results were negative (yay). I just, have a really hard time letting go of this. I know that it is common. I live with a lot of anxiety, as I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and vitamin deficiencies in the past couple of years. I know that there is something wrong with my body--and I dont always feel like I have a handle on what it really is. Unfortunately, my rheumatologist has no interest in really treating me, or addressing real problems. This makes me worry, that there is something that I dont know about, damaging my body. --HIV. I became fixated on it. My risk factor is/was low. I gave oral sex to a guy I was dating. Needless to say it was rather forced, without getting to graphic...he violently shoved my head down for about 15 minutes. I had braces at the time. I dont remember if I had cuts, I wish I could remember. He did ejaculate in my mouthmore so down my throat, as I never even tasted it. To be honest, I had NO idea about HIV and its risk factors at this time. I had never even kissed a guy. I wasnt exactly up on sexual anything. It really disturbs me, how much they DONT teach us at school. The last time I had had sex education was in the 8th grade (I am now 20 years old), and it was an abstinence program. I specifically remember being a shown a video in which the commentary was something like the following: *boy raises hand in a classroom setting* what if I sex before I am married? *teacher answers* then youre going to die. I am not exaggerating. This is exactly what was said. I never forgot that, because of how unbelievably irresponsible it was. Of course, this was in Woodstock, Ga. --A little over a year later post exposure, when I was admitted to the hospital for what turned out to be a severe allergic reaction to Levaquin (I now call this the devil anti-biotic), I was asked about HIV testing. I immediately, said sure. It had not even crossed my mind that there was any possible way I could be infected, I literally never had thought about HIV and my body up to that point. The Dr. asked me a series of questions about my sexual past (yeah its not that extensive). I told him everything, which pretty much included one blowjob. The Dr. seemed rather concerned about my current boyfriend, whom I had really done nothing with, and who was a virgin as well. When I told him he was a virgin, he dropped questioning. When I informed him about the past blowjob, he seemed slightly alarmed, until I told him when it had occurred. For some reason, he dropped that subject entirely too. He told me I was pretty much at zero risk, and didnt need to be tested. I would later come to regret his decision, so very much. Now, I would consider in my mind, that the Dr. was worried that I was going through Acute HIV, and that because my past exposure was so far back, that it couldnt be from that. Why he didnt think I could be infected in general, I do not understand. This was an infectious disease specialist at St. Josephs Hospital in Atlanta, btw. After my hospital visit, of course, the anxiety took over me. I finally got the guts to go get tested. I have run every possible reason, for me to still be infected, despite a negative at 15 months. I understand that it is highly improbable. It amazes me, and truly shocks me, as to how much I didnt know about sexual health. It amazes me how much other people do not know. I know that this is a long email, and that I will most likely not get a response, because once again, I am being ridiculous. I just wanted to express my deep thankfulness that there are people in this world like you. If there ever were a true definition of a hero, you sir would be the mold. I admire you, more than I could ever express with words. Our lives are so precious, as is our time here on earth. I could live 500 years, and I would still not touch as many lives, as you touch on a daily basis. God Bless you. You are such a gift.

Much Love and Admiration (wow Im starting to sound like a stalker), Anxious Annie (ok my name isnt Annie, but Hailey didnt really have the same ring)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Hailey (a.k.a. Anxious Annie),

Woodstock, Georgia's abstinence program included a video that said, "What if I have sex before I am married?" and the reply was, "Then you're going to die!?" Oh my . . . things are getting even worse than I realized! I think that should qualify for "public-health malpractice!" The human cost of Dubya's unprecedented subversion of facts via faith-based politics has resulted in escalating HIV rates in every high-risk group. Ultimately repairing the devastation being done to HIV prevention alone will probably take an entire generation, particularly with the new pack of rabid congressional HIVer-phobes!

OK, on to your situation. As you probably know from reading the Forum, oral sex carries a very low risk for HIV transmission. That you tested negative for HIV-1 and HIV-2 with ELISA at 15 months is definitive and conclusive. Your risk is no longer "highly improbable," it's now impossible. HIV is not your problem; however, as your "a.k.a." name suggests, anxiety is indeed still a problem. I would strongly suggest you see a therapist to help you cope with your irrational fears of a nonexistent HIV infection. That may well be the underlying cause for your feelings that "something is wrong with my body."

Thank you for your very kind comments. I hope you'll son get the help and answers you are looking for. Your first step should be to stop chasing a disease you could not possibly have. Bring a copy of this post to your first visit with the therapist. It will help focus your sessions and get you back on the road to good health. I also hope you'll begin contacting local school authorities and politicians, demanding that a science-based sex-education curriculum be reinstated in Georgia's schools! Let's change Anxious Annie into Activist Annie, OK?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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