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Thanks Dr. Bob...please answer ....still worried
Apr 2, 2006

Dr Bob, Hope you are doing well. Thanks for your other responses. Also thank you for that great letter as well as CD about your foundation. And once again thank you for all of your help

I know I am a pain by now. One last question and I will stop bothering you.

If you remember I had an encounter with a masseuse in my hotel room. The massage turned into protected oral and vaginal insertion(stupid move)It only lasted a few minutes. This happened at the beginning of December. No idea of her status. No idea of quality of condom. By the end of December I started experiencing muscle and body aches in both arms, elbows(very tender)knees (slightly stiff) and a slight pain in my ankles. The pains lasted about 10 or 11 weeks(until beginning of March) went away, and now I am starting to feel achy again (mostly in my arms, elbows and slightly in my thighs). The pains all seem to happen together and at the same time. I have not had any fever, night sweats, loss of weight,or any of the other major signs, maybe just a sore throat. Dr. checked my throat yesterday and said I was fine. Doing everday activities, and sports, but very worried about these aches. I know you cannot diagnose over the internet, but your advice is invaluable. 1. Do these aches and pains seem typical of Hiv Ars?

2. Would these aches and pains last for 10 weeks, and then come back?

3. I am sure a condom was used and it did not break. Assuming poor quaility what are the odds of contracting HIV from a one time encounter?

I know from the forum that symptoms do not equal hiv. I really thought I was being careful during this stupid encounter. Never had thses pains before.

Thank you so much for all of your advice. You are truly a special individual.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Still Worried,

OK, let's review this one more time . . . .

1. Protected sex is protected if the latex condom was used properly and did not fail. You used a condom. It did not fail. Therefore you were protected. Why would you assume a hooker-masseuse would use an inferior condom? Do you think she wants to contract an STD from her clients? That wouldn't be good for business, now would it? Your masseuse was obviously a pro and as such, chances are she knows a hell of a lot more about keeping herself safe than you might imagine. After all, she's doing this for her livelihood, right? The vast majority of latex condoms available in the U.S. are of very high quality. Your fears are unwarranted.

As for your hypothetical "but what if the condom was of poor quality," well, I don't have a specific estimated-risk statistic I can give you. As you can probably imagine, we don't conduct scientific epidemiological studies on the safety of poor-quality condoms! That would be unethical. And who do you think would sign up for that kind of research? "Hey boys and girls, sign up here to help us determine if these cheapo poor-quality condoms protect you from HIV!!!"

2. Symptoms do not equal HIV disease. It looks like you've got the message. As for your "symptoms," well, they don't equal HIV disease! No, they are not "typical of HIV ARS." Would such symptoms, if they were typical of ARS, last 10 weeks and then come back??? Dude, do you see how silly that question is? What I will say is that true ARS symptoms do not last 10 weeks, resolve and recur, OK? Whatever is causing your symptoms (anxiety?), it's not HIV, OK?

3. Even though I think your HIV risk is essentially nonexistent and that your symptoms are not suggestive of or worrisome for HIV, if you remain worried and feel you've placed yourself at risk, get tested! You'll have your definitive result in 20 minutes with a rapid test. Hell, it takes that long for you to post a question here, right? Since it's now been three months since your "massage," an HIV test will give you a conclusive answer. It may be the most effective and efficient way to set your worried mind at rest. I can already tell you the result will be negative.

I'm glad you enjoyed the CD. The Board of Directors of The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation recently decided to send those out with the thank-you letters for donations of $100 or more. We've received some very nice comments from folks who have seen it. Some folks had no idea Steve (Dr. Steve, the expert in The Body's Tratamientos Forum) and I even played the piano! And they also liked viewing the short clips from our Concerted Effort benefit concerts, seeing me play with the HIV-positive kids and hearing from some of the AIDS services organizations that we have worked with. We are now establishing a range of thank-you gifts for our more generous donors.

Stay safe. Stay well. Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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