Family in Need & Donamation Info
Mar 26, 2005
Hi Dr. Bob, I've been reading your message board the past couple of weeks and can't get over the good you're doing for society. I only wish I could add this much value to society beyond my minimal contributions to Corporate America.
I've been diagnosed with OCD, depression and anxiety. I'm on medication and I'm getting therapy. I'm almost afraid to tell you this up front because I'm concerned you'll immediately dismiss my fears. Why I'm making progress, my fear of having got HIV and worse yet passing it onto my family has taken over my life. After talking with my primary care physician and the CDC on several occasions, I'm convinced you're the person I need to speak with.
I tested negative for HIV ~ 13 and then again 8 years ago. Both times I put myself through a similar hell that I'm putting myself through now (only this time its worse).
Approximately 1 year after my last test, I was in SF on business (7/1998). It was a week-end afternoon and I was bored out of my mind. I stopped into a video store and noticed they had video viewing booths. There wasn't much activity, so I entered the booth closest to the front desk. I put some quarters in and ended up masturbating. When I went to put more change in the machine, my left index finger came in contact with a puddle of semen next to the coin slot. I immediately wiped it on my pants and went back to my hotel room (5-10 minutes away) where I washed my hands. When I closley looked at my index finger, I noticed a small strip of skin was missing between the side of the finger nail and the side of my finger. The string was very superficial, wasn't something I peeled off recently, wasn't deep and there was no sign of blood. The strip was ~ 1/4" long, 1/32" wide. Since I didn't see anyone come out of the booth, wosrse case, the semen was there at least 10-15 minutes. I spoke to my doctor and the CDC about it (and the risk associated with sitting on a bench with your pants down). Both said there was virtually no risk. We have (3) children, of which only (1) was born after this event. Since he was born just (3) months after this event and my wife and I didn't make love during this time, the only chnace that he could have gotten it was through breast feeding. Which I think is a very low risk since we've used condoms ever since he was born (not including oral sex). What concerns me is that my youngest son (now 6.5 years old) has had a swollen glands in his neck area for months. I asked his pediatrician about it during his physical and he wasn't concerned. He said kids at this age get swollen glands. Sometimes they'll have some glands that get larger every time they get a col or something and/or sometimes, a few glands will stay permentaly enlarged. This winter my son has seemed conjested at least 50% of the winter (possibly allergies since his mother has had severe asthma and me year round sinusitus for the past 10-15 years. He also has flat warts (his older brother had them around a year ago) and always seems to have bruises (maybe due to his older brother and him being so active and rough). The past (2) winters I've lost ~ 5% of my weight (then I put it back on in the spring), while I've had floaters since I was a kid, I notice a few more now (I'm a near sighted/soon to be 40 year old and a recent eye exam didn't show anything). I noticed an impacted lower wisdom tooth I had recently removed took over a month to completely heal. Over the past 6 months, my hands have started falling asleep (ouuter index fingers) up to 50% of the time while I'm sleeping (could be related to my being on a computer up to 10 hours/day and/or Zoloft side effect ?). My wife (38 years old) developed facial acne out of the blue ~ 8 months ago (has yet to go completely away (she takes several medications for her asthma and hypothyroid). My older son (8.5 years old) has had patches of dry skin all winter (we live in the NE) on his torso (don't know how he would have gotten HIV, unless he and his younger brother shared tooth brushes, my wife says they don't) and my 13 year old daughter complains about her neck/back and is congested a lot (maybe she got it from my wife by sharing a razor and/or tooth brush, my wife says they have never done either).
My primary care Doctor, therapist and I have discussed the possibility of me getting tested again to put my mind at ease. However, both feel it wouldn't help me, that me and my family aren't at risk and I'm concerned I would have a nervous break down waiting for the results (even 15 minutes).
I value your opinion on what the risk was associated with incident in SF in 1998, do you think my family is ok ? and what has been your experience with OCD and HIV fears ?
Also, how do I donate ? Things are tight right now, but I'll give whatever I can.
God Bless and thanks for your help.
Response from Dr. Frascino
I agree with your primary care doctor and the advice you got form the CDC. You had "virtually no risk."
I suggest you continue to work closely with your therapist to confront your OCD and irrational HIV fears. Certainly HIV disease itself is not your problem!
Donation information for my foundation can be found on the Foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org
Thank you for your willingness to help others in desperate need. A man's true worth is measured by the size of his heart, not the size of his bank account.
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