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Now I'm officially afraid to have sex

Oct 30, 2006

Dr. Bob, This is your secret admirer. I need you to put things in perspective for me, in your expert opinion.

It all started about 3.5 years ago, when I first started having sex. I was 23 and got laid for the first time with a grad student in my school from China, who was around 30, ripe and hot. We had a purely sexual relation for a few weeks. The sex was often unprotected (I think she's actualy trying to get pregnant by me so she can stay in the US. She actually went get pregnancy tests during our relation). Of course I didn't know much about any STD's, to a even less degree HIV and how they are transmitted. The thing between me and her didn't last long. After that I started having a more active sex life with different women.

But the thing is, since the time I started to learn about HIV and other STD's, I have become paranoid, extremely bothered about my past (i.e. all the sex I had) and start to worry about all the sex that I am going to want to have. I got tested, the HIV test result I got is 10 weeks after the last time I had sex (ya, I know, it's a long time, but I got paranoid) with this random girl that I met online (of course I don't know her), we had vaginal sex, and I fingered her (I don't think there's anything particular to mention with the finger that did the job), there was no kiss. supposedly I had safe sex, right? But I can't stop to worry.

I am wondering if the HIV/AIDS (and other STD) champaign has lead to unnecessary stress to many people, as is evidenced by the number of worried minds here.

So Dr. Bob, could you put in perspective, in terms of how much we should really be concerned about HIV/AIDS and the short version of "HIV prevention for dummies" for us?

Can I, as the person on top, safely assume that if I use condom correctly everytime I have (vaginal or anal) sex, I should not worry about HIV and the vast majority (maybe except warts or herpes)?

Or, as an alternative, I should study EVERY possible sexual/foreplay behavior (fingering, oral sex, kissing, frottage, etc.) and possibly over-emphasize every detail and even "create" risk from my behavior?

What are your thoughts?

All the best, Your secret admirer

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello "Secret Admirer,"

You were 23 when you shagged the ripe, hot China grad student. OK. It was your first sexual experience? OK (even if you are a late bloomer).

But then we get to "of course I didn't know much about any STDs, to an even less degree HIV, and how they are transmitted!!!!" Definitely NOT OK! You were 23, frevinsakes!!! The only explanations for your not knowing anything about STDs, HIV, and prevention of unwanted pregnancies are:

1. You were home schooled by religious, sex-phobic zealots.

2. You were a graduate of the Bush/Cheney/GOP abstinence-only sex education programs.

3. You're a recent arrival to Earth from the now nonexistent planet Pluto.

Dude, in this day and age, there really is not a valid excuse for not knowing how to protect yourself from STDs/HIV.

Is HIV/AIDS something to worry about? Here are just a few facts. You decide.

1. There are over 40,000,000 people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide today.

2. There are over 1,000,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the US. 250,000 of them do not know they are infected.

3. There are 40,000 new HIV cases each year in the US. Half of those new cases are in young adults in your age group.

Do some people worry too much about HIV? Absolutely. You can easily deduce that by reading this forum. However, the other end of the spectrum exists as well. Folks who "don't know much about STDs and to an even less degree, HIV," like you, who are out rooting like wombats.

As for an "HIV for Dummies" short version, the specifics would depend on the degree of "dumminess." I'd suggest you spend some time reviewing the information on this site, in the archives and also on the related links. You have some remedial work to do! Try HIV InSite ( to get started. Once you access the website just search for "safer sex" and you'll find a variety of references to review.

I will tell you that if you use a latex or polyurethane condom correctly and it does not fail, your HIV risk would be virtually nonexistent. Some STDs (warts, herpes) can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact.

Finally, I must mention, I require all my secret admirers to have an excellent working knowledge of STDs/HIV. I do not believe the HIV/AIDS awareness/prevention "champaign" has lead to unnecessary stress! It's the lack of accurate information that produces irrational worries as well as stigma, fears, intolerance and more HIV infections!

My advice is to get informed and then reapply for that "secret admirer" status, OK?

Stay safe. Stay well.

Dr. Bob

Condom Durability
Hey Doc, please respond!! please!

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