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Symptoms don't equal HIV?
May 14, 2006

Hello Dr.

I am curious about a few of the messages and responses I have seen posted here. it seems that most people are writing in with virtually zero risk (i.e. masturbation, kissing, or even protected sex) where obviously you would respond with symptoms don't equal HIV, because obviously in those cases they don't. but ARS in many cases presents itself with swollen lymph nodes and a rash as stated on many websites. It also says, "flu like symptoms." A flu with many swollen lymph nodes and a rash doesn't sound like any normal flu to me. If someone was say a man and had unprotected sex with a woman and then 2 weeks later came down with a fever, swollen glands, and a viral type rash, wouldn't you say to yourself, "this guy probably has HIV."?? I can't think of any instance in my life when i have ever had a rash associated with a flu. What's your two cents on this? Thank you very much. Oh and by the way, I really enjoy reading some of your responses. You seem like a truly wonderful human being. too bad there aren't more truly compassionate people in the world like yourself. will you run for president?have a great day. thanks, Pat

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

If a dude had unprotected sex with a woman and two weeks later developed fever, swollen glands and a "viral type rash," I would NOT say to myself "this guy probably has HIV!" In fact just the opposite; I would say, "This guy probably does not have HIV, but because he put himself at risk for STDs, including HIV, he should be HIV tested in three months."

"Symptoms do not equal HIV disease" applies no matter what the risk may have been! The reason to be concerned about possible HIV infection is not the presence or absence of symptoms; it's whether there has been a potential exposure. In the hypothetical situation you mentioned, if we assume the woman was confirmed to be HIV positive, the estimated risk of the dude acquiring the virus from unprotected insertive penile-vaginal sex is 5 per 10,000 exposures! If the dude has "fever, swollen glands and a viral type rash," I would assume he has a virus, but most likely that virus is not Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

Will I run for president? Nah, who the hell wants to try to clean up the mess Dubya has made??? Gosh, when he first took office and was spending so much of his time on his ranch in Texas goofing off, I thought he was taking way too much vacation. Now, I think he should just go to Texas and catch seven-pound perch in his man-made lake on his "ranch" and not touch anything else. It seems whatever this loser touches he mucks up beyond belief! His approval ratings are now in the 20s. Apparently the only folks who still think he's competent also believe Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs to church every day in the garden of Eden.

Stay well, Pat.

Dr. Bob



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