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Doubting Republican.
Apr 12, 2006

Hey Dr. Bob,

First I want to say how much I have learned about this disease, and how amazingly ignorant I was about it. Also, your political views are entertaining, coming from a republican for my whole life, now unsure what to think, every week there is a new administration scandal. Back in late July 2005 I was in Miami went to a strip club had way too much to drink and turned into a freaking maniac (repressed republican I guess). I spent a couple hours in the vip area getting many lap dances I remember one dance when she aggressively rubbed herself right on my mouth and dumb ass me starts licking and sticking my tongue inside her, then she turned around and did the same thing, stuck her ass in my face and I do it again. She gave me head unproteteced and rubbed herself on my penis, but no insertion. Then we are hanging out talking and she tells me she has had sex with as many as 10 guys in one night, scary. This is what I remember, I might have done more stupid stuff with several dancers as I was drinking continually. Then of course the next day hit me and you know the rest. What is really scary is I had cuts in my mouth from something I ate earlier that day. Got tested after 8 days, 2.5 months , 4.5 months for 1 and 2, and 7.5 months all neg. ELISA tests. She was Russian, said she just came to U.S. a month ago and of course I started wondering about a weird strain and I was only tested for 2 once, at 4.5 months. Other bloodwork is on 2/1/06 EBV VCA IgG positive ABN, EBV VCA IgM negative, Monos checked 12.7% on 11/11/05 again on 1/31/06 it was 14.6% HI, Abs Mono 0.85 x1000 on 11/11/05 again on 1/31/06 it was 1.19 x 1000 HI. Hep a,b and c all negative at 4.5 months. There were no other std tests done, all the doctors said since I did not have any symptoms for any specific std no reason to test.

Now to the very real symptoms:

About 20 new petichiae on my chest and 30 new moles, about 10 new petichiae and 15 new moles on legs,About 40 little spots like liver spots on hands and arms that definitely were not there 3 months ago. I look a lot older and my skin has lost a lot of elasticity, I am 44. I have lost most of my muscle tone in arms and legs and chest, and my stomach has become flabby, gained 15 lbs, for no reason. I had a vitamin deficiency test, low in some Bs, and experiencing malabsorption. Thrush confirmed by Dr, did a culture sample, and had nail fungus, my toe and fingernails look terrible, he put me on Lamisil said it would get rid of any Candida or funguses in my body, didnt make me feel any better so he took me off of it after 1 week. Yesterday I used a tongue scraper on the back of my tongue past my taste buds and tons of white stuff came off with a lot of bleeding Swollen lymph nodes in neck, armpits, groin, that come and go, confirmed by Dr. Severely receding gums, and very sensitive teeth, dentist was surprised how sensitive they were. Pains, jaw, collar bone, into ears, biceps, forearms, hands, fingers knuckles, shoulder, the whole left leg feeling swollen and foot also. Fingernails, started cracking and splitting about 4 months ago, curving to the side , cuticle detaching,, moons disappearing, white spots, and have become very brittle and weak. Itching all over, worse at night but is only in my between my fingers and toes for the most part now. Headaches, dizziness, poor memory. Ringing in ears, about 50% of the time. Sharp pin pricks on bottom of feet. Tingling in hands and feet, hands fall asleep and become totally numb. Some nights sick feeling, pain in throat, both sides, going into ears, trouble swallowing. Pain in abdomen and pelvis, lots of noise and gurgling sounds, spasms in abdomen. Muscles in arms and legs, sides spasm, twitch, the muscle on my forearm was visibly moving, and in leg right above knee for a couple days., on and off for months Cant lay on back without feeling a headache coming and dizzy feeling. Pressure in back going to my neck into head. Feel and look dehydrated all the time. Knot above bicep on right arm.

I am very worried because my fiancee has some of the same things going on with her too. I know you always say to come clean with your spouse, I have tried, but it is so hard, I know she will be very hurt, I am trying to get up the strength. The thought that I have done this to her is eating me up inside. Although my doctors say that I couldnt have given her anything, they are all convinced I dont have anything. I could believe mine is stress, but her having all these symptoms too is making me very worried.

List of fiancés symptoms

Went from a size 4 to 7 in 3 months she is dieting and working out like mad but it doesnt seem to help, she too is losing arm and leg muscle tone and her stomach is getting like mine. Itching all over. Bad allergies, eyes burning, nose running etc. Rash on elbows, legs, and pelvis comes and goes. Feeling tired and out of energy all the time, she used to have lots of energy all the time. She looks dehydrated also and is getting more moles too. Has been breaking out on her face, rarely has she had any blemishes before. Frequent sore throat and cough. One night she work up at 2am vomiting and lasted until 6am.

So here are my questions, and you have heard them all before but not exactly like my situation. Is it possible I could have a hep coinfection, one dr. said it could take longer to show positive than when the test was done. I read on this website of coinfection people not showing positive for a year or so. Is there anything I have told you that would make my case different, maybe I was exposed more than once and I have not been able to produce antibodies. Where can I go from here, I have done so many tests and seen so many doctors, should I get a cd4 count, another #2 test, is. Can another std I did not get checked for give us these symptoms, I just cant get it out of my head with both are symptoms being the way they are. You seem really cool and very passionate about what you do, it makes my career seem pretty unimportant. I will making a donation later this week, I promise. Thank you for listening to me. I would love to woo hoo but I feel like I cant yet.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Doubting Republican,

You seem to have difficulty accepting obvious truths, despite overwhelming evidence. For instance, you clearly see "every week there is a new administration scandal," yet you are "unsure what to think?!?!?!" How many more scandals will it take to convince you our current Republican Senate, House of Representatives and President are not only incompetent but also corrupt???

Your HIV story is similar. Your HIV risk oral sex with a stripper is minimal. Your symptoms are not consistent with HIV ARS. Your HIV tests out to 7.5 months are all negative. You have "done so many tests and seen so many doctors . . ." and your doctors "are all convinced I don't have anything." How many more negative tests and doctors telling you that your symptoms are not related to physical illness will it take for you to accept this reality?

You identified your problem accurately when you wrote "the thought that I have done this to her is eating me up inside." Your problem is guilt, irrational fear of HIV and anxiety. These psychological ailments can indeed produce physical symptoms.

To answer your specific questions:]

1. Should you get a CD4 count? No.

2. Should you get another HIV-2 test? No.

3. Should you get STD screening? Only if symptoms warrant it. For instance, with itching between fingers and toes, you should be examined for scabies.

4. Hepatitis coinfection or being "exposed more than once" would not explain your current symptoms or situation.

My advice to you is:

1. Level with your fiancée. You can't really hope to begin a marriage with such guilt feelings, can you? Being honest is not only the best way to confront your guilt, but it's also the right thing to do.

2. Get psychological counseling to help you cope with your irrational HIV fears, anxiety and guilt. The therapist can also work with your general medical doctor to address any psychosomatic symptoms you may be experiencing and also help you accept the wonderful news that you are HIV negative.

3. Become an Ex-Worried Well.

4. Become an Ex-Republican.

Thank you for your donation (www.concertedeffort.org).

Feel better, OK? HIV is not your problem!

Dr. Bob



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