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You Should be on the Air Dr. Bob!...
Jan 13, 2006

Dr. Bob, It would be great to have you on the air (TV, radio) where viewers can call in and ask you questions as on "Talk Sex with Sue". Ever seen that show? Your years of knowledge and expertise mixed in with your outrageous personality would prove to be a hit and you would help many people along the way as you already do here on The Body and through your foundation! What do you say? On with my questions: My 6th week since exposure is fast approaching and I have made an appointment for next Wed 1/18 for the OraQuick Rapid HIV Test. I know a 12 week test is conclusive, but how reliable is a 6 week test via OraQuick? A drop of blood from a finger stick is all they need. I've read a 6 week test is pretty reliable using the standard ELISA blood test but is this also true with OraQuick? My actual risk was unprotected insertive anal sex with a guy who I later found out to be pos. I know the odds are 6.5 in 10,000 or 0.06% but I'm uncircumcised so I also know this increases my risk a bit. About a week after the event, I began to feel a sore throat. Then I had a cough and slight fever (99.7 F). I was hoping this might be a cold and just a coincidence since people around me where getting sick due to the weather change here in Miami. What I thought was strange was that I did not get a runny nose and I always get a runny nose with my colds. After that resolved, I began to feel what I can describe as hot flashes and when inspecting my skin, I could see that the top of my back by my shoulders and my chest looked a bit red. Now I feel discomfort around my neck as if my lymph glands were swollen or as if my sore throat wanted to come back. I also feel some discomfort on the right side of my groin as if the lymph node there was swollen although I can't feel it by palpation. I've read not to pay attention to symptoms but I can't help it! I feel as though I may have been infected and only a miracle from God can help me now. If this test comes back negative, I plan to retest at 12 weeks (3 mos) but need to get passed this first hurdle. Any words of wisdom?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

"Talk sex with Sue?!?!?" you mean that crazy sex lady on TV who looks like somebody's grandmother? I thought she was a Saturday Night Live sketch the first time I happened to see her, like Dana Carvey's Church Lady. She seems to have a keen sense for the obvious and to enjoy handling dildos and other sex toys while passing out an amazing amount of misinformation. And you think I should have a show like that? No thanks. I'll pass.

How reliable is a six-week OraQuick test? As you mentioned, ELISA antibody tests are not considered to be definitive until three months after a potential exposure. OraQuick is also an antibody assay and has the same limitations as an ELISA. It's not considered definitive at six weeks and therefore cannot be considered reliable.

Words of wisdom? Sure. Use a latex condom. Used properly they are very reliable.

Good luck, and um . . . I wouldn't bother posing your question to Sue. I don't find her reliable either.

Dr. Bob



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