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Is your foundation listed on Combined Federal Campaign for donations?
Sep 7, 2006

I would like to donate to your foundation and wondered if I could do it straight from my check via the CFC. Anyhow, I understand that you are incredibly busy, but this is my 6th try. Like so many others, I have read the archives all the way back to 2002 and have learned a great deal about HIV and it has comforted me a lot. Now I just really need to hear some advise directly from you. Every day I get a little more anxious because it is almost test time (annual job physical in November). Please consider my story and respond with your opinion.

I am a male and in March 2006, I had contact with a confirmed HIV positive male. Unprotected incertive and receptive oral. No pre-ejaculate from him that I noticed and he did not ejaculate. I did however finish the race as the insertive partner. Some kissing, but when he started to get too deep, I backed off. I found out about his positive status in mid July and made the mistake of looking up symptoms on the net. Immediately, I am pretty sure that I had an anxiety attack. Symptoms worsened within 24 hours of internet surfing. Clogged throat, clogged ears, sharp pain under front of chin, pain under sides of jaw (no swollen nodes that I could feel), sore jaw and teeth (clenching?), sore throat, loose stool, white tongue (no thrush or sores in the mouth that I could see), tiny little red spots at random on all over body that do not hurt (could be how moles start out?), the list goes on and on. I am very concerned because I did have two things happen before I found out the news in July. Sometime in April, I did have two separate episodes of Piles. Both could possibly be explained by other circumstances (solo "experiment" with a toy and then lots of situps during a physical fitness test), but I know that is a long shot. The other thing that happened was at the end of May or beginning of June (not sure but I wasn't looking for ARS symtoms at the time). I did get flu like symptoms, which isn't too worrisome because so did a lot of other people at work. My daughter also had the same symptoms at the same time and it only lasted for about 24 hours for everyone. However, on two separate occasions, I experienced deep, sharp, radiating chest pain that started in the middle of my chest and went outwards. I felt like someone was standing on me and squeezing me at the same time and I had to "bear down" while it lasted. Both episodes lasted for about 30 seconds and both times, it happened just as I had laid down on my bed and was laying pretty much flat. Nothing leading up to the pain and nothing after the pain subsided (weird huh?). Yes, I know that I should have gone to the doctor for this, but I am the type of person that doesn't miss work or go the the doctor for anything at all. Neither the Piles or that severe chest pain has happened since. I have (of course) symptom surfed for this too, because looking back, it scares me the most out of all of my symptoms. I have found tons of causes for chest pain, but it seems that like so many other things, the symptoms are all so similar, including HIV. Anyhow, while I would value your opinion of whether it sounds like I could be/have been seroconverting, my biggest concern is the chest pain. I have read that chest pain is one of the possible symtoms for ARS/HIV, but have not found any specifics about the pain that was experienced and just cannot get past it. I can easily believe that all of the other symptoms may be caused by stress, guilt, and anxiety, but the piles and chest pain were before I found out and so it just doesn't fit. Just a little more information so you can sort this thing out. I am now, almost 6 months out from contact with him and have had no contact with anyone since mid July (insertive, unprotected oral with unknown status male). I currently have a "phlemy" throat for 1 day, pain in armpits that occasionally goes down the inside of my arms to my elbow, and aching pain in my chest that feels similar to the previous pain, but not nearly as bad. Stool is better, but not normal and most other symptoms are slowly subsiding. My throat feels like there is something hanging underneath of it from a string and the muscles in my neck hurt in the front. I have had only a small, red itchy rash on the back of my leg where it meets the rump and that only lasted for less than a day, but did not seem to have any white bumps. Lately I have noticed that I can "feel" my hair. I know that sounds strange, but I guess maybe I am just convinced that every little itch is HIV related. I hope you can make sense of this very lengthy post. Just trying to give you as much information as I can, so that you can form an educated opinion. 1. Is my scenario consistant with ARS? 2. Do you have any feedback on the type of chest pain that people experienced during ARS and would the pain just appear twice or would it have persisted longer? 3. Could I still be experiencing ARS symptoms this far out and would they be coming and going? 4. Are conditions like pariditis (spelling?) or other conditions that may be associated with a virus be found in seroconverters or is it a later condition in HIV patients?

I thank you very much for your time and effort on this site. I wish you continued health and success in life and love. I hope to soon be writing you as an ex-W.W. with a gigantic Woo-hoo and negative result. (Wow, I just teared up out of nowhere as I typed that last sentence.) Thanks, you are an angel on earth.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Your HIV risk is negligible at best. I'll proceed directly to your specific questions:

1. Nope!

2. Chest pain is not a common occurrence with ARS. The transient chest discomfort you experience is not ARS related.

3. Nope!

4. Nope. Pericarditis and similar conditions are not associated with ARS.

Your symptoms even the chest pain are most likely related to your guilt, stress and anxiety. Piles? Well piles are piles, and even though they can be a pain in the ass, they are not HIV related.

As for "feeling" your hair, yep that sounds strange, and once again is related to your hypervigilance and conviction that "every little itch is HIV related."

I'm extremely confident your definitive HIV test will indeed be negative and WOO-HOO-able. I should probably also warn you that if you teared up just typing about the possibility of a gigantic WOO-HOO, it's bound to be a real humdinger. I'd recommend the usual precautions wearing ear plugs, warning the neighbors and alerting the local seismologists that the disturbance on their Richter scale should not cause excessive alarm, OK?

Regarding donations to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation, no, we are not linked into the Combined Federal Campaign. Perhaps we should be. I'll have our volunteers check it out. In the meantime we accept credit cards, PayPal, checks, cash, money orders, appreciated securities, direct wire transfers, family jewels and just about anything else. Donation information can be found on the foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org.

I'll be waiting (and bracing) for your WOO-HOO!

Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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