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please doctor... your words can help me

Jul 22, 2006

Hi doctor? how are you?? i have written you before but i admit my resulting text was far too long as to be practical. This time ill be more brief.

During a three month span (june-august 2005) I had 18 (yeap, 18)sexual encounters at massage parlors; protected vaginal sex with 10 different girls in total. The condoms never failed.

My symptoms eversince include the following: slight discomfort in left testicle, mostly when i was sitting, lasted a month and a half (doctor said it was a slight varicocele); two episodes of flu-like illness with runny nose, sneezing, mild fever, slight sore throat(both times i was caught in the rain and did not changed clothes, and both times there was a flu outbreak at my office); five flesh colored bumps of 3 mm in diameter in my genital area that formed a crust after 2 months and fell down; two days of itchiness, mostly in my genital area; hacking up thick phlegm once or twice a day for four months; appearance of 30-40 tiny red dots (half a milimeter in diameter), most of them in my arms, distributed over 8 months, with an average of three of these dots at any given time; some strange red lines of 1 mm in lengt or less, that appeared at the tips of my fingernails (they seemed like dry blood debris); a very slight sore throat after five months of my last exposure; some small white bumps in my upper arms and shoulders (like chicken skin), but maybe i had this before my regretable massage parlor visits; i also gained 17lbs in the past 8 months

Do you think these symptoms are consistent with ARS of early or late HIV infection for that matter? Anyway, what worries me the most is the self-destructive behavior i have engaged in. Ironically I started this as a conscious effort in order to endure all these difficulties, but it went out of control: After going to the doctor for my testicle disconfort, i was too scared to go again and get tested, so i began performing some "test" on myself to see how my body would react. I made several insitions in my arms with a knife to check my clotting time (they were in the standards, at least the ones of internet); performed several wound in different parts of my body with dirty and rusted knives to see if i would get an infection (i didnt); stopped eating for days, or just making one meal to see if i would drop weight (i didnt); went many nights or even two days without days to see if my body could handle it (i could, but it was very debilitating. I worried); smashed two fingers of my left hand with a hammer to see how many days it took to recover (dont worry, im right handed, and after two months i can move them again); when a hurricane struck the city, i went out and ran under the rain without t-shirt to see if i would catch a flu (i didnt); stopped brushing my teeth for days at different points, to see if my gums would recede, and also to see if some white coating in my tongue would evolve into something worse (the white coating appeared and dissapeared even if i did not brush my teeth, and yeap, i think there is some recetion in my gums, or at least i think so); became involved in some beatings to see if i could endure them....

So doctor, as you can see, all of this has become very serious... all because of the fear of HIV. Im totally concsious that my behavior is stupid, but now is more difficult to stop hurting myself... im really, really afraid. I know that getting tested will help me overcome this, but in your opinion, do you think i got a chance of being negative??? Hope you can answer me Doctor. Thank you very much for your time and take care... I guess, at the end, these text was not so brief. Scared person

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

1. "Protected" sex (even 18 encounters) is indeed protected if the latex condom was used properly and did not fail.

2. Your symptoms are not suggestive of or worrisome for HIV ARS or HIV disease. I do not believe HIV is your problem.

3. Your masochistic behavior is indeed a problem and requires immediate attention from a psychiatrist. I strongly urge you to contact a psychiatrist without delay. Bring a copy of your post and my response and show it to the psychiatrist. It will help focus your therapy.

There is no doubt you have a very significant medical problem that requires urgent attention from a qualified specialist. However, there is no doubt in my mind that your problem is psychiatric and not viral.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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