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sensitive question - am donating - please respond (from woopsie doodle)
Oct 16, 2006

dear doctor bob i have a senstive question that seems difficult to answer because you often shy away from it due to its ambiguity

i am asking about ars rash please dont stop reading!

i have redish elevated bumps on my torso (tummy and chest) i have about ten of them and they seem to occur in pairs in or around eachother

in a previous responce, you said that they are 5 to 10 millimeter bumps

does that mean that one gets five to ten of these one millimeter bumps at a time or is the size of each bump five to ten millimeters?

mine seem only to be about 2 millimeters at the most - though i am not sure bedcause i dont have a ruler on me

i dont know how long they have been there every so often i notice a couple more of them

one or two have been there for quite a while now

finally, some of them blanch a bit when i push on them - in taht most of it will dissappear if i dont allow the blood to go back into that part of the skin

please respond tell me what you think

all my love your friend -woopsie doodle

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Woopsie Doodle,

1. Your question is neither sensitive nor difficult.

2. Even if it was a sensitive and/or difficult question, I wouldn't shy away from it! Why would I? I'm here to address concerns and problems and to offer my advice.

So what do I think about ARS rash? I think folks (like you, Woopsie) spend way too much time trying to self-diagnose every little blemish or bump. ". . . mine seem only to be about 2 millimeters at the most though I am not sure because I don't have a ruler on me." Woopsie, you are being hypervigilant to the point of absurdity. So what if you measured a bump on your tummy and it was in the dreaded range of 5-10 millimeters? Would you freak out and be convinced you're HIV positive? You are not a physician. Stop trying to diagnose! It is counterproductive.

The take-home lesson is very simple. If you've placed yourself at risk for HIV, you need to get an HIV test three months or more after the last exposure, whether or not you have no symptoms, "every symptom in the book" or multiple bumps that measure 5-10 millimeters in size, OK?

Be well. Be reasonable.

Dr. Bob



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