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Always wear shoes!
Jul 3, 2006

Hi Dr. Bob.

Long time no post because I thought that I finally conquered the HIV fear demon but it's back and with a vengence because of something that happened about a month ago. Long story short: I went to my next door neighbor's apartment (barefoot) and, as I was walking through her living room, I felt something sharp jab one of my toes. I said "Ouch" but didn't investigate what jabbed me. When I got back to my apartment(next door) I looked at my toe and didn't see anything--it seemed fine so I just shrugged it off. Fast forward to now (4 weeks later), I'm typing to you with a low grade fever, sweating, head congestion/stuffiness, sore throat, runny nose, ear ringing and dizziness and I am FREAKED OUT that it's ARS. This old familiar fear has a grip on me so tight that I can't shake it. These symptoms started on Friday (this is Sunday). HIV was the furthest from my mind..until this morning when I woke up still sick (even after taking Advil Liquid gels, benadryl and Bayer asprin--not all at once) When I woke up this morning, I remembered the jab in the toe at my neighbor's and it HIT ME that this must be ARS. Why? Because her hubby is an IV drug user and I'm convinced that I stepped on one of his needles. Please help me Dr. Bob!!

It's been years since I last talked to you. I'm so happy that you're still fighting the good fight! You remain forever one of my most favorite people and in my prayers!

Scared in PA.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Scared in PA,

Same old demons; same old advice:

1. Symptoms, no mater what they are, do not equal HIV disease. Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is or is not HIV positive. Stop worrying about symptoms!

2. Your HIV risk would be negligible at best and certainly nothing to "FREAK-OUT" over. Get a grip!

3. If you are worried, and clearly you are, get a single HIV test at the three-month mark. A rapid test will give you an accurate result in as little as 20 minutes.

Good luck. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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