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HIV=Help I'm Very scared!!!
Mar 28, 2005

Dr. Bob,

You are obviously a beacon of hope to many and I am hoping you will be the same for me.

I am a male and had unprotected vaginal intercourse with a woman of unknown status four months ago. We were together once and the encounter lasted about 1/2 an hour. To this day, she claims that she tested negative 2 months prior to our encounter but I have no way of knowing her status for certain. Since then, I feel like I am literally going out of my mind! I decided to get tested at three months based on what I initially read about window periods and was so freaked out that I took two separate tests. One was through a lab and I am not sure what type of test was done and the other was an Oraquick finger stick type. I was relieved when they were both negative but my world turned upside down again when I read about how people should be retested at 6 months. I took another test at 15 weeks through a doctor and was told by the lab that it was an immunoassay, also negative. Not long after that however, I began experiencing "symptoms" ranging from 5-6 small red "dots" appearing that look like a tiny speck of blood in my pores, a half dozen bouts of what seem like hot flashes in the middle of the night, some purplish spots on my gums that seem to appear and disappear within a day (which I hope are toothbrush trauma), and now a stomach/abdomen that is cramped at different times throughout the day. I also had something resembling the flu over the last few weeks that made my stress level even worse and convinced me that somehow I am one of those individuals that is outside the 3 month period. I am desperately trying to rationalize if it is the stress that is bringing all of this on and I want to believe the test results and the information on the 3 month window but I find it hard to.

As a fellow philanthropist, I am more than happy to contribute to your organization and recognize the importance of monetary donations on the work that individuals and organizations such as you do for the world. As a result, I will be making a contribution.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Unprotected intercourse does place you at risk for STDs, including HIV. However, if you've repeatedly tested negative out to 15 weeks, your results are, in my opinion, definitive and conclusive. You are HIV negative.

Your symptoms are not suggestive of HIV disease or ARS; however, they are very consistent with anxiety, stress and irrational HIV fears. You do not need additional HIV testing, but rather some counseling to help you accept the excellent news that you are HIV negative! Get the help you need to confront your unwarranted fears, as HIV is not your problem!

Thank you for your philanthropic efforts. It true that it is in giving that we receive.

Congratulations on your negative HIV status.

Dr. Bob



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