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Ah yes, another worried bastard

Dec 10, 2004

Bob, let me get in the long line to compliment your dynamite Q&A forum here, it's gone a long way to allaying my fears.

I'm a 30 year old heterosexual male who just recently got out of an 8 year monogamous relationship with a woman.

Recently (about a month ago) I had protected sex with a woman. It was pretty vanilla sex - unprotected foreplay, then standard, protected vaginal for, er, 15 minutes. Ok, maybe not quite 15.

Anyway, despite condom use I began to get concerned about all the fluids that may have entered me during foreplay as well as vaginal fluid on my fingers and hands I called the CDC thinking they would say, "don't worry about it," Instead they said, "well, anytime you come in contact with fluids there is some risk."

What the heck?? I thought I was being so safe!!

So now I'm freaking out and have an appointment for a 4 week test on Thursday (I know 12 weeks is conclusive).

Also, I see you're a pianist - I am also very concerned that Philip Glass' 5th Symphony is the single worst piece of music ever composed.

Thanks for reading,

Patrick

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Patrick,

Protected vanilla, or any other flavor for that matter, sex is indeed "protected," if the latex condom was used properly and did not fail. HIV cannot pass through latex -- or intact human skin!

Sorry the CDC's advice caused you to freak. I would indeed have said, "Don't worry about it." Now the Glass 5th, that indeed is something to worry about. Patrick, my advice to you is:

1. Skip the four-week test. It's not conclusive.

2. If you remain worried, get a 12-week test to calm your fears and help you "fuhgeddaboutit."

3. Continue to play safe.

4. Trade in your copy of Glass's 5th for the Ligeti Piano Etudes or anything Marc-Andre Hamelin or Arcadi Volodos have ever recorded, and your faith will be restored.

Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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