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Dr. Bob's back!!! Could you please make my holiday?
Dec 18, 2004

Dr. Bob,

I am so happy that you are back!!! I'm glad to hear your concert went well and that you are enjoying this holiday season.

I've e-mailed you before, but I know there aren't enough hours in the day to answer all of your loyal fan's questions.

But, if you could indulge me this one time, I would be so grateful.

Last January, I was using the restroom of a large hotel in New York City. After using the urinal, I went to the sink to wash my hands. There was a man at the other end of the sink that started talking to me about my shoes. He said he really liked them, and asked what kind they were. Then he walked over to me and lifted my shoe up by the sole and started looking at them. He then walked back over to his end of the sink, talked to me some more, and then returned to my end of the sink. He lifted my shoe up and said he "need protection" in the back end of his shoe and started rubbing my foot. I felt some roughness that I attributed to my sock and his hand in the tight area of my shoe, but I now wonder if he could have been hiding a needle between his two fingers that he used to touch me. After all, who really cares about a basic pair of Reebok shoes?

I'm a high school student, and I talked to my Dad about this after it happened, and he said the guy might have had a strange fascination with feet and that I shouldn't worry.

But, I've had this annoying post-nasal drip and possible swollen glands for about two months now, and I'm convinced they're a result of my HIV status. During this past summer I also had nightsweats on a few occasions.

So, could you please help me? I can barely focus in school, I can't enjoy anything, and I just want an answer.

Dr. Bob, you have remained steadfast in your fight against this disease, and are an inspiration to all of those both HIV - and HIV +. You are a fighter, one with a love that can't be overstated.

Please make my holidays by answering my question, and please, by all means, take care of yourself and have a wonderful new year!

Sincerely,

Worried Sick High Schooler

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Worried Sick High Schooler,

Thanks for your kind comments. I had to smile when I read your post, because just a few hours ago, while I was using a restroom in a Boston hotel, a dude came up to me and asked me about my shoes as well! I doubt it was your Reebok Guy, because I was wearing Pumas, but who knows? Maybe there's a hotel-restroom-sneaker freak roaming from city to city. At any rate, the chances he was hiding a needle between his fingers, trying to infect you with HIV is essentially zero. I agree with your dad: the dude is probably just fixated on feet or is a sneaker-freak. Your symptoms are not suggestive of HIV disease or seroconversion. If you really can't get this out of your head and it's affecting your ability to focus in school, I'd suggest showing this post and my response to your dad. He sounds like a cool guy and I think he's right on target. To set your mind at ease and certainly not because I believe there's even a snowball's chance in hell that you are positive from this encounter you could get an HIV test. Rapid tests give results in 20 minutes and are very reliable. The results will be negative, without doubt. But this might be the most efficient way for you to put these worries to rest and focus on those mid-term papers and exams.

Happy Holidays High Schooler.

Dr. Bob



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