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Dr. Bob...
Nov 26, 2006

Hi- I just made a $100 donation and I know you will put it to good use. I asked a question two days ago but did not get a response yet... Then again there have not been any responses for a few days, so I don't think you are avoiding mine specifically.

I have a lot of questions to ask, but first I will tell you my situation. I had an experience with a sex worker three weeks ago where we had protected sex, but she also did some extensive rimming and uncovered fingering of my anus. She was a pretty dirty girl who looked like she had gingivitis and sounded like she had some other respiratory issues. While I know these dont mean she has HIV, I think if she did she would not be getting treatment and therefore would have a high viral load(?). Since then I have been suffering from extreme anxiety.

I know symptoms are not the best way to know if you are infected but maybe you can help answer a few questions...

1. What percentage of people show ARS symptoms?

2. Is it possible to have only one or two symptoms? (I ask because I have a few zit like bumps around my trunk. This is not totally unusual for me, but I am on acutane and there are a few more than usual. Other than that I have no real symptoms that arent consistent with anxiety)

3. Does the above sound like an ARS rash? Do ars bumps pop? Do they all come out at once, or can 4 come out one day and then spread? Do they typically hurt when you press on them?

4. If she did have a high viral load, had infected gums and used spit as lube for the um... fingering... is that enough for infection? (I have read a lot of your posts and you seem to reassure every one that their chances of infection are slim... but it never seems to calm anyone down until you answer their specific scenario.)

5. About what percent of people test positive one month after infection, what about two months? (I tested after the one and two week marks with an antibody test, sort of for peace of mind and sort of to know what hand I had before the instance in question, since I had never been checked before... they were both negative. Lower case wo-hoo)

I hope you make good use of my $100, you are now on my permanent list of charities for every year donations!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I agree you are "suffering from extreme anxiety" and not HIV!!!

Your HIV risk is negligible at best. Protected sex is indeed protected if the latex condom was used properly and did not fail. There have been no documented cases of HIV transmission from rimming or getting rimmed. Fingering is not considered a risk for HIV transmission if the skin was intact.

1. Because ARS symptoms vary so greatly in severity, this question is impossible to answer. In retrospect most HIVers will remember some flu-like symptoms that may have been ARS.

2. Your "few zits" are not HIV related. Generally speaking there are multiple symptoms fever, swollen glands, rash, malaise, etc.

3. No.

4. No.

5. The majority of HIVers will test antibody positive by four to six weeks.

My advice would be for you to ratchet down those extreme anxiety levels, as they are unwarranted based on your HIV risk. Get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark, as tests prior to three months are not considered to be definitive.

Thanks for your donation! A formal acknowledgement and token thank-you gift will soon be sent to you via snail mail. I'm also sending you my best good-luck karma that your definitive three-month test is negative!

Good luck! Be well!

Dr. Bob



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