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Sad story
Jun 8, 2005

Dear Dr. Bob: Thank you for your excellent job you do to help people like me. I would like to write to you so everybody knows this sad story and do not repeat my stupid mistakes. I am a divirced male in my middle fifties. I felt very lonely and once invited a girl that I met at the Internet. She stayed in my house 2 weeks. We had unproteced sex a few times. In about 5 days since her arrival I developed a fever (100 F.) that lasted a couple of days, running nose sneezing and coughing that lasted over 3 months. I had hepres infection on my lips 3 times in the past 3 months (it happened once about 30 years ago), persistent sore throat that goes on for almost 4 months ( I never had it before) and a yeast infection in my mouth. I was an absolutely healthy man before who has never had any sickness for decades. Now I am an absolutely crippled invalid. I lost 20 lb. within these 4 months. I do not have appetite and do not sleep well. I think my life is over for the stupidity I made. I told honestly my doctor what has happened and at the end of month 4 after the last exposure, my doctor suggested me to have an hiv-test that came negative along other tests: toxo, mono, cmv. He also told me that I do not have any bacteria or inflammation in body. My CBC blood test is almost perfect: the only thing is slightly lower cholesterol. But my throat still hurts. Does it mean that I will seroconvert within the next 2 months (as the window period is 6 months?). Please let me know. I will be delighted to contribute to your foundation. Very worried.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Very Worried,

Yours is not so much a "sad story" as it is a story about being sad! (and frightened!)

Yes, you placed yourself at risk by having unprotected sex and subsequently developed some symptoms. But, your doctor has evaluated you for a variety of illnesses, including HIV, all of which have been ruled out. That's anything but sad news! But rather than celebrating, you continued to be "very worried!" Why?

At this point, I feel guilt, loneliness and irrational fear are your primary problems. Ask your doctor for a referral for counseling to help you cope with these psychological issues. Retest at six months, if you wish, but I certainly do not think it's necessary. HIV is not your problem. Anxiety and depression are! Counseling is the next step to regain your "absolutely healthy man" status!

Thank you for your willingness to make a donation to my foundation (www.concertedeffort.org).

Good luck. Feel better, OK?

Dr. Bob



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