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Low risk encounter: Should I get a test?
Mar 27, 2006

Dear Dr. Bob,

I am a young(25), recently out, gay man. I've never had any type of sex or intravenous drug use(I used to be devoutly Christian, so I've pretty much been into nothing).

However, I recently met a guy that I like(he is devoutly Christian...and in denial about his sexual orientation). We got into a discussion about sexual history, and he told me that he was a virgin. It was right up my alley because I'm a virgin too(as I stated earlier).

So one weekend we got involved in a make out session. All we did was french kiss and kiss each other on the neck.

Now, little over a week later, I keep thinking about the chance that I could be infected with AIDS or some other STD. I know that deep kissing is low risk behavior but it is still a risk...And I am a bit of a hypochondriac. I've never had any sexual encounter before. Furthermore, he said that he deep kissed a girl approximately 3 years ago.

However,oneday, I just started thinking about whether or not deep kissing can lead to aids...I read a CDC report about a single case resulting from kissing. One partner had the virus and infected the other...True there were other factors involved(she used his toothbrush and razorblade), but they pointed to kissing specifically.

I'm not having any symptoms or anything. But I am scared my anxiety is going to trigger phantom(or real) symptoms and then I'll get even more afraid...I'm so petrified of the disease that it is all I think about.

Dr. should I be tested or would it be a waste of time(and money, which is not at my disposal. I'm a college student)? Is my fear just irrational? I literally don't want to have sex now unless I am going to be monogamous and my partner has been tested and tested and retested. I told my partner that we can't be romantically involved because he doesn't want to admit that he's gay...So we're still friends. I've never seen him take any medication(he spent a few nights at my house, and I never noticed anything), and he eats alot of junk food.

Dr. am I just driving myself insane with this? I'm sure people have asked this before but I just needed to tell you my exact situation.

Thank you for your time.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

One formerly devout Christian virgin hypochondriac driving himself insane with worries that he contracted HIV from another devout Christian virgin who is in denial about his sexual orientation, but enjoys French kissing. Have I got that right??? Gosh, religious zealots are just so well adjusted sexually, aren't they? It must be all that abstinence-only sex education and homosexuality-is-a-sin-and-abomination bullshit that lead to such unwarranted and completely unnecessary psychological trauma.

To answer your question, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Period. End of story. However, I do think both you and your Christer closeted buddy have significant psychological hang-ups that would benefit from counseling. As a first step, spend some time reading the information on this site and related links, paying particular attention to how HIV is (and is not) transmitted. You could also use a basic course on human sexuality that doesn't involve virgin births, abstinence only and Old Testament rants.

Good luck to both you and your buddy.

Dr. Bob



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