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A series of unfortunate events
Dec 22, 2004

Dear Dr Bob,

How are you? I hope you are well. I've written to you about three times but received no response. I understand you must be very busy, but hopefully I will be one of the lucky ones to receive an answer. Also, where do I send a donation to? I haven't much money but I believe in supporting the cause. You are truly inspirational and have brought hope to many who use this site. O.K. Here's my question again, and I'll be brief. I am the 24 year old woman who received four bouts of unprotected oral sex from a guy whose status I don't know. I always thought insertive oral sex was a low risk activity, but is it different for women as the lining of the vagina is porous and "absorbs" fluids? I spoke to a health worker recently who says that even if there were no visible cuts in my vagina, it might be possible for him to transmit the virus to me if there was blood present in his saliva, as I might "absorb" it. Is this true, as I am sick with worry. All the info seems to be conflicting, and it appears that women are at higher risk if what the doc said is true! Please could you give me some advice, as I am still in that agonising three month window period and need to have a glimmer of hope from you to see me through. I am SO scared! I have an unhealthy obsession with HIV that has seen me experience a series of unfortunate events over the past two years, resulting in numerous negative results. I need help, doc. My sanity may not be able to hold out for long!

Kind Regards,

Worried Lemony Snickett Fan

Response from Dr. Frascino

Dear Lemony,

"The Trouble Begins"(books 1-3)with your "unhealthy obsession with HIV."

"The Situation Worsens" (books 4-6)because the "health worker" gave you some information that you misinterpreted.

"The Dilemma Deepens,"(books 7-9)because you are "sick with worry".

So to abort this "series of unfortunate events," let's focus on what you need to know and what you need to do. First off, check out the archives of this forum and read through questions related to "oral sex." There you will find ample evidence and testimonials indicating that the risk of HIV transmission from any type of oral sex is very, very low. Next, if you feel you've placed yourself at significant risk, get HIV tested at three months. The statistics are overwhelming that this too will lead to a "negative result," albeit thankfully quite different form the "negative result" you write about in your question! Finally, regarding your "unhealthy obsession" and your tenuous sanity, I do recommend you seek some professional counseling. Addressing your irrational fears and unhealthy obsessions should quickly bring your "unfortunate series" to a "happily every after" conclusion.

Donation information for my foundation can be found on our Web site at www.concertedeffort.org.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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