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SCARED & DEPRESSED will make a DONATION
May 6, 2006

Hi D. Frascino,

I haven't yet received a response to my question so I am going to ask again. I will also gladly make a donation if you can please assist me. I have read through the archives but I am still not sure about my symptoms. As I said previously I am in my early 20s and have never received or performed anal intercourse much less unprotected intercourse of any kind. However about 2 months ago now I did have a one night stand in which I performed oral sex and mutual masturbation. About a month after that I noticed a pain in my left leg and noted that the lymph nodes on the left side of my groin were swollen. I woke up one morning shortly thereafter with neck pain and a severe headache (which I initially owed to a hangover). However after a few days the headache had not subsided and I began to have fever, chills, heavy night sweats and the nodes on the right side of my groin began to swell. This was accompanied by a loss of appetite and a general feeling of tiredness and illness. No diarrhea and no vomitting. Eventually the primary symptoms went away after about 2 weeks. I visited a GP on 2 occassions and was told I had simply picked up a virus from traveling. The nodes in my groin slowly went down but I had also developed swollen nodes in my neck and started having pain under my arms which I believed was due to swollen nodes there. These eventually subsided. A few days ago it seemed like the nodes had shrunken for the most part. the groin and underarm were clear and the ones in mmy throat had cleared. But then after a night of heavy drinking I started to experience pain in my leg again and noticed that the nodes in groin had swollen again, but only very slightly. The ones in my neck came back and there is a hard pea shaped one at the back of my neck. My tongue also has a whitish colour (is this thrush) and I have a slight upper abdominal pain, particularly when I run and I have lost several pounds in the last month. I didn't have a rash I am experiencing joint pains which sometimes makes it difficult to walk and am very concerned because I am usually quite healthy otherwise. I have an impacted wisdom tooth which every now and then flares up and although I don't think there is an open sore, I am worried that it may have been possible that I got semen into my mouth which led to infection. I am worried sick and am beginning to get extremely depressed. When I visited my GP and she told me I had a viral infection from traveling she said to just wait it out. It has been over a month now and I am not sure what is going on. I believe it is still to early for me to reliably test for HIV so I really need your help to tell me if these symptoms present as acute HIV infection. I am so afraid and worried that I can barely face the world these days. Please, please help me.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Scared and Depressed,

First, your HIV risk: it's negligible to nonexistent. Mutual masturbation carries no HIV risk. A single episode of oral sex with a partner whose HIV status is unknown carries an extremely small HIV risk at best, even with the impacted wisdom tooth. If you are worried and clearly you are I recommend getting a single HIV test at the three-month mark. Statistically the odds are all in your favor that your definitive three-month test result will be negative.

Next, your symptoms: your symptoms are not consistent with or worrisome for HIV ARS. However, many are very consistent with anxiety and depression. I cannot diagnose the cause of your various complaints over the Internet; however, I can tell you the chance they are related to HIV is beyond remote.

Finally, what's wrong with you: I believe you accurately diagnosed your problem when you wrote "I am worried sick and beginning to get extremely depressed." I strongly urge you to get help for your depression, a very real medical problem. Counseling and/or medications can help you cope with your irrational fears and depression.

Thanks for your donation. In return, I'll send my best good-luck/good-health karma that your three-month definitive HIV test will be negative. (I'm extremely confident it will indeed be negative.)

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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