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Symptoms are not equal to disease

Jul 14, 2005

Dear Dr. Frascino,

I'm from Singapore and I'm not here to ask a question but to share my encounter with HIV, and hopefully encourage people to get tested.

My exposure was with a massage parlour girl in Thailand in Dec 2004. We had deep kissing, I fingered her, she gave me 2 protected blow jobs and 2 hand jobs. Then I fell sick for a long time, for the next 6 months in fact. I had diarrhoea, low grade fever, chills, fatigue, white thrush on tongue, canker sores and bleeding gums. All the symptoms that were associated with ARS. And most of these symptoms kept recurring for the WHOLE of 6 MONTHS! I thought that was the end and became very depressed.

However I also chanced upon your forum during late Jan 2005 and started reading your answers. What always comforts me is your assurance that symptoms are NOT equal to disease, no matter what, and your friendly and humorous manner. I really, really appreciate that and together with lots of prayers to God (I'm a christian, by the way, and am ashamed of the massage parlour act), it gave me courage to go for a rapid HIV test today.

The test turned out to be negative! Woohoo! For the past 6 months I have been living a life without hope and future, incredibly depressed and physically sick because of the depression. Having gone through that, I would encourage everyone to go get tested - there's no way to lead full life if you're always plagued by the fear of HIV. The best scenario is you'll get your life back with hope. Even if otherwise, at the very least you'll be able to seek treatment early, prolong life more and very possibly live till the day a cure is found (which is very possible, given the advances in medical science). SO GO GET TESTED!

Dear doctor, I do think you are doing a very noble job here, helping people deal with such a terrible disease. God bless you and I will be praying for you!

Response from Dr. Frascino


And there you have it folks: another example of symptoms not equaling HIV disease and Christian boys going wild in Bangkok.

Thanks for taking the time to write in and share your story. WOO-HOO! Thanks also for the prayers. I hope God in all HER infinite wisdom blesses you with peace and health.

Dr. Bob

Caregiver of HIV exposed infant
Lonely Democrat in TX--question about my PEP regimen--please answer!!!

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