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Probably Paranoia

Sep 15, 2006

Dr. Bob,

First of all, on behalf of myself and all of the worried (and hopefully) well out there I would like to thank you for your time and patience. It takes a wonderful and gracious person to do what you do. Without your forum, and others of the like, I surely would be losing my mind right now.

Secondly, I would like to relay a situation to you and hopefully get some reassurance while I wait for the results of my first test. Here is what happened:

Approximately 5 weeks ago I had a sexual encounter with a female acquaintance. I am unaware of her HIV status but I do know that she is fairly promiscuous and has slept with some rather shady characters. Some of these characters are known drug users. However, I am not aware if any of them are IV drug users. As we were fooling around she attempted to insert my penis into her vagina before I had put a condom on. Under normal circumstances this should have been an instant red flag but given my drunken and horny state the thought didn't present itself. Again, being inebriated, I am not sure what degree of penis to vagina contact took place but I am certain it was within the range of mild frottage to 3 seconds tops of vaginal insertion. After this, I immediately put a condom on and proceeded to have protected sex for 20-25 minutes. I don't recall the condom breaking or slipping off at any point and it was still on when I pulled out.

Around 3 to 4 weeks after this situation I began to experience the following symptoms: neck and upper back pain, what felt like lymph node swelling in my neck, a fever like feeling with no temperature, a white tongue, flushing in my face and profound drowsiness. Currently, at 5 weeks, only the white tongue, the drowsiness and the flushing remain. I realize that the odds of this being HIV are fantastically slim at best but I still would like your take on a few questions.

1. By my calculations the odds of contracting HIV in this scenario would be somewhere between 1/2000, if it is considered insertive vaginal sex and she was HIV +, and 0 if it is considered frottage. Are these odds correct? Am I forgetting anything?

2. Say, by chance, that she was recently infected and happened to be at the peak of her viral load. Would my chances of transmission increase or is viral load factored into the 1/2000 statistic?

3. I have read that HIV transmission requires a substantial amount of the virus and signifigant time for infection? Would my brief unprotected foray qualify as enough exposure to theoretically transmit the virus?

4. Have you ever heard of a case where someone got vaginal secretions on the tip of their penis then covered it with a condom and got infected? (A stretch, I know.)

5. Do my symptoms sound remotely like ARS? I realize that symptoms are a horrible way to predict infection but because of the timing of the symptoms, the fact that I have never felt like this before and the random nature of ARS symptoms I can't shake the idea that it might be ARS. I also believe I'm not feeling terribly anxious so I wouldn't think anxiety would be a strong factor.

6. Who would you like to see as the Democratic candidate for president in 2008? I'm pulling for Dennis Kucinich. Something tells me that won't happen.

Thanks again for you time and patience. I know the worried well can be quite trying at times but they are most definetely immensely grateful for your service. I should be getting my 4 1/2 week test results back any time now so your best good luck karma would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for listening! FB

P.S. What is the best way to donate to A Concerted Effort?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello FB,

Thanks for your kind comments. I'm going to shorthand my response to your questions #1-5.

If you've placed yourself at risk for HIV, you need to get HIV tested at the three-month mark, whether or not you have symptoms, whether or not your partner had a high viral load, whether or not the foray was brief or extended and whether or not your estimated statistical risk is high or low. To delve in deeper than that is pure mental masturbation and hypothetical what ifs. I've answered all these questions before and you are welcome to review those responses in the archives at your leisure. I see little point in reiterating them again here. As I've said before, I'm trying not to become "The Department of Redundancy Department"

As for #6, I'd say ABB! (Anybody But Bush!!!) I like Obama, Wesley Clark and even feel Hillary would do a fine job.

Regarding donations to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (and the "A Concerted Effort" HIV/AIDS benefit concerts), information can be found on the Foundation's Web site at We warmly accept credit cards, PayPal, money orders, appreciated securities, direct wire transfers, cash, family jewels, oil wells and just about anything else. In return, I'm sending my best good-luck/good-health karma that your definitive three-month HIV test is negative.

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob

the guy was gay and went to san franciso is this a risk bob?
Inspected, Tested and Dejected

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