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PLEASE PLEASE Answer this?
Jul 3, 2005

Dr Bob you are da bomb! Hopefully you have time to answer me. Over the past year or so I noticed a few strange symptoms which I hope you can address. Do any of these add up to HIV. Please keep in mind these are diseases/issues I think I have and were not diagnosed by a Dr. Fordyce's Condition-Little clustered spots on my upper lip. They have been there for maybe 4 years and are not painful. Tinnitus-buzzing type noise in one year. Again not painful but sort of a distraction. peripheral neuropathy-Tingling numbess in feet-doesnt seem to go away. I see PN mentioned on numerous websites and then freak out. This really concerns me and I dont know what to do. Is this a really painful disease? Mine isnt really burning, more like tingling or numbness. I visited a doctor for the buzzing and they offered no help. Now for my exposure since I know you will ask. Last year I receieved unprotected Oral Sex from a female of unknown status. I also a few years ago did have other women perfrom oral sex on me and have never had an STD. I consider myself healthy except for what I list above. Do you think this is unrelated to Hiv???. The oral sex is the only thing I feel that has led to my pain. Do you see a relation to any of these symptoms? Has anyone who tested positive for Hiv ever had these problems? Any help would be great! If its not HIV what type of Doctor should I see. I will send a donation to your foundation and I donate to other causes including Hiv.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

You self-diagnosed Fordyce's condition, tinnitus and peripheral neuropathy??? Hmmm . . . sometimes I really wonder why anyone bothers to graduate from medical school, internships, residencies and postdoctoral fellowships these days. So when you are not being a dermatologist, neurologist and/or otolaryngologist, what do you like to do in your spare time? Rocket science? Quantum physics??

So you want to know if your self-diagnosed illnesses "add up to HIV." Simply put, no. Dude, HIV/AIDS is a viral illness, not a collection of symptoms.

Moving on to your HIV risk unprotected oral sex form a female of unknown HIV status, this, like all forms of oral sex, would carry a very low risk of HIV transmission.

My advice is simple:

1. Stop self-diagnosing. "Da bomb" must remind you that you are not a doctor.

2. Symptoms, no matter what they are, do not "add up" to HIV. In fact, symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting true HIV infection.

3. If you think you've placed yourself at risk for HIV, get tested three months or more after your last possible exposure.

Finally, regarding what type of doctor to see, I'd suggest one that has graduated from medical school, rather than one of the "home-schooled" variety. A general medical doctor (internist) is a good place to start. He will refer you to a specialist if your condition warrants that level of evaluation or intervention.

Thank you for your donation! Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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