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Please help...worried sick!

Aug 20, 2005

Dear Dr Bob,

Thank you for your amazing work and all the effort you give to those of us who you will never meet (or even probably know the real names of!) Your ability to give so much of yourself to the wider good amazes me and I truly find you inspirational. I have made a donation to your foundation and I hope this is some small help with the problems you are trying to combat. (On a quick note, I hear you send out thank you letters, are these marked on the envelope with what they are? I live at home with my parents and if a letter comes through the post with "AIDS Foundation" on the front it may cause some concern whilst I'm away next week!) I know you're very busy but I also have a quick question for you about an encounter I had about ten weeks ago. I received unprotected oral sex, I'm female. I know this is low risk and I wouldn't be worried generally, but I have had a catalogue of symptoms since. After a week I had a swollen lymph node appear on the back of my ear and a sore throat developed. This sore throat lasted for about five weeks. I went to the doctor about it and she said that my tonsils didn't look too red, and my glands weren't particularly swollen. About four weeks after the potential exposure I developed bleeding, sore and receding gums. These are now a little better. About six weeks after the exposure I developed red spots at the back of my tongue with some white coating around them. These are still present. After about seven weeks I developed some sort of skin problem between two of my fingers: the area was red and itchy and the skin was flaking - this lasted a few days. Do these symptoms sound like ARS to you? Something I'm very worried about is that I may have passed it on to my mother - we accidentally shared a tooth brush at the time I was having bleeding gums, and she too developed the spots on her tongue (although these have gone down). Can you please give me some advice doc as I'm so worried that I've put myself and my Mum at serious risk and I'm unsure whether to put her in the picture or not. Love and kisses, One Silly Student.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello One Silly Student,

Yes, oral sex is low risk. No, your symptoms are not consistent with ARS. No, you did not pass HIV on to your mum. If you remain concerned about HIV, get tested at the three-month mark. However, the primary reason to do so is to set your mind at ease.

Yes, thank-you/acknowledgement letters do have a return address label. If you do not want to receive an acknowledgement letter, just let us know at the time you make a donation and, of course, we'll honor your request. If you've already donated, chances are you've already received the thank-you letter. However, I doubt the sealed envelope will cause any concern. If your parents do question you about your mail, use it as an opportunity to educate them!

Stay well.

Dr. Bob

Faeces + HIV transmission
love from taiwan

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