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know I am positiva and scared as hell
Nov 25, 2006

Thanks for your presense for all of us, Dr.! This is my thrid attempt to get your attention. I hope you can shed some lights.

About a year ago I had a fling with a guy. We did oral sex w/o coming. And I also topped him, w a condom. After he left, I discovered a little red flare (a dot of blood inside - not sure what's called) on the side of my tongue. A week later I developed a dry cough that wouldn't go away for a month. (But I had no fever, etc, I just felt normal). So I forgot about it....until about 3 months now (9 to 10 months after exposure). My weight suddenly dropped 15 lbs.(10% of my original weight) I didn't feel stress, anxiety. I tried to eat more, but I couldn't gain back my normal weight for this past months. And I always feel burning sensation on my feet and arms, and upper body. Still I have no fever or other abnormalities. This has been going on for months now.... then yesterday my lymph node appeared to be swollen. It is about a pea-size, swollen at my neck (just one node). Still I have no fever. Just these weight problem and burning body parts. So I am very scared...and scared to get tested. I know it is rare to have the swollen lymph node without fever, cold, etc. It must be HIV. It seems like I am in the asymtomp period of hiv infection. Are you familiar with my scenario?

I am now thinking about finding a good, compassionate doctor (such as you!). But I am living in Thailand. It seems very hard to locate an hiv specialist here. Does your foundation has a network or data that can direct me to the best specialists here? My donation is on the way. Thank you so so very much!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Am I familiar with your scenario???? The "it must be HIV, but I'm too scared to get tested" scenario??? Oh yes, I'm very, very familiar with that. Just check the archives and you'll find gazillions of cases very similar to yours.

Your HIV risk (unprotected oral without ejaculation and protected insertive anal) is negligible at best. Your "symptoms" are not suggestive of or worrisome for HIV. I would suggest you get HIV tested. The results will undoubtedly be negative.

Regarding HIV specialty care in Thailand, don't you think you are jumping the gun a bit? Get the test first. Then we'll worry about follow-up care. (I'm confident you won't need the services or expertise of an HIV specialist!) If your symptoms don't magically disappear after you get your negative HIV test results and you WOO-HOO, then you should see a good internal medicine doctor for a checkup, OK?

Thank you for your donation! In return I'll send my good-luck karma that your HIV test will be negative (even though in reality I doubt you'll need the luck!)

Dr. Bob



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