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Confession, ARS, and Will Not Write Again.
Aug 29, 2005

Dear Dr. Bob--

I thought that I had conquered by fears, but they keep creeping back. I'm the young student who wrote about using condoms with Lubriderm during my 30-45 second vaginal sex with a prostitute at a massage parlor. I've written a few times in the past few days hoping that you would answer, and I have not come clean that it was me that was writing. I think it's better for me to come clean and just let you know that it's ME AGAIN(instead of pretending to be a new writer--honesty is the best policy). I suppose that I'm anxious as hec.

I suppose that maybe reading the archives is not good for me, as I have tended to "read into" everything. But here's the problem with me. I'll give you the Cliff Notes, and I really hope that you can forgive me for being annoying and obessive.

1. You stated that my risk of contracting HIV was minimal. Why is it minimal?? The condom did not break, leak, or tear, or fall off. Is your qualifier of using "minimal" due to microtears that are too small for me to see (i.e., permeability). I thought permeability was not an issue in using Lubriderm with Latex condoms.

2. And secondly, I've been having a constellation of symptoms that are frighteningly similiar to ARS. It's been exactly 20 days since my exposure. Six to Eight days after the exposure, I had sporadic armpit pain (sometimes, left, sometime right armpit). The armpit pain lasted for about 3-4 days. 13 days after exposure, I started to have pain one one spot of the right side of my pelvis. I went to the doctor, and she said that I pulled a tendon. But now the pelvis pain is at my joints of the hip. And sometime, the discomfort is at the left, and then the right...it's alternating. And it's off-and-on discomfort also. Around the same time, I had a stuffy nose for about 3 days. It was an off-and-on stuffy nose. Around day 19, post-exposure (yesterday), I had a fever of 99.2 for about 3 hours. Does any of this sound like ARS?

I won't write again. I know getting tested is the best way for me to move beyond this, but I would really appreciate you writing back ONE LAST TIME.

Sorry, Doc. :(

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Young Anxious-as-Heck Stud(ent),

Actually I assumed those other posts were from you. I didn't respond because I really don't have anything to add to my previous advice. I do, however, appreciate your honesty.

1. As I mentioned previously, Lubriderm contains mineral oil and petrolatum among other ingredients. Oil-based products used on latex can induce a chemical reaction that can weaken the latex and eventually damage its integrity, possibly causing it to rupture. Do I believe this damage occurred within the 30-45-second timeframe of your mattress mambo? Probably not; however, since an oil-based product was used on latex, I cannot in all honesty advise there was absolutely zero potential risk. Therefore I advised you your risk was minimal. Similarly if you asked me if the hooker you shagged was the illegitimate love child of Paris Hilton and Dick Cheney, I'd have to say the chances of that are also minimal, (i.e. possible but highly unlikely). O.K.?

2. Your "constellation of symptoms" is not "frighteningly similar" to ARS. In fact they are not even remotely reminiscent. Sporadic armpit pain, alternating off-and-on hip discomfort, three-day stuffy nose, etc. are not at all suggestive of ARS.

My advice is as simple as 1, 2, 3:

1. Stop worrying. Get counseling for anxiety if need be.

2. Get tested at the three-month mark.

3. Yell WOO-HOO.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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