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Please, please....im begging...
Nov 3, 2006

Hi Dr. Bob. I sent you a question last week, but I am sending to you again. I know that noone's question is more important than anyone else's, and I also know that other people have asked about this topic as I have read their postings...but...tomorrow I am going to have my test at 4 weeks, and the anxiety is really killing me...

I wrote to you last week that on Oct. 2nd I had sex with a prostitute in China and my condom broke. I withdrew after about 5 seconds and then put on a new condom and continued. She applied some lubrication to both condoms, but I am not sure what it was. (was not Vasaline, but could have been baby oil...) She, though, said it would be ok if I continued without a condom (and I didn't think anything of this at the time) but I did not. Afterwards I really began to wonder why she would say this and figured that she must have done this with many other clients. I continued for maybe 15 minutes before leaving and I believe the second condom did not break.

A few days later I became very scared, but read that the possibility was very low that I got HIV in this way...But I started having fever at 23 days...That is when I wrote to you. My fever stopped after about 36 hours and the next morning when I woke up I had severe diarrhea that lasted for two days until I took some medicine. My lymph nodes have also been swollen since I began having fever. I also had stomach cramps and nausea during this time, and after eating dinner, I woke up in the middle of the night to throw up all of it. I have no reason to believe that this could be anything other than ARS as I know noone around me that was also sick.

Given that the time I was inside her was very short, could this decrease my risk at all? Also, if she did use an oil based lube, if the condom didn't break, would it still have been ineffective? I know symptoms are not a diagnosis, but I believe mine are very consistent with ARS given when they began... Regardless of whether you can answer this or not, I will go get checked tomorrow... But I just want to know what you think about my situation. I am in China and have no one to talk to about this right now...I will talk to the doctor tomorrow, but it will help me so much to hear from you....I mean it...I am crying out of dispair all the time, and am extremely scared for my health and for my future...That no one will ever want to be close to me or love me if they find out. I have never been this scared or felt this alone in all my life.

I promise, I will donate to your foundation as I have now gotten a reality check of how serious HIV/AIDS is (but maybe less if I have HIV as I will have to buy meds)... Please, doc, I am begging you to reply to this and send some good karma along my way... Thanks alone and scared

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

It is true that unprotected sex, including broken-condom sex, does carry some risk for STDs, including HIV. That your potential exposure was brief (5 seconds) drastically reduces your risk. Oil-based lubricants can denature latex condoms, making them more likely to break.

You are correct: symptoms do not equally HIV disease. Even though you may feel your symptom complex is highly suggestive of ARS, I do not. I'm willing to bet your four-week test was negative. It was, right?

My advice is to take a single test at the three-month mark. The odds are astronomically in your favor that you did not contract HIV from this episode. Take a read through the archives. There are many testimonials, like yours, that you should find both enlightening and encouraging.

Thanks for your donation (www.concertedeffort.org). In return I'll send my best good-luck/good-health karma that your definitive three-month HIV test is negative (as I very strongly suspect it indeed will be!).

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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