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Long time worrier (think 2003), first time poster
Dec 10, 2006

Dr. Bob,

Thank you for your time. This site truly is a unique resource (I wish I had known about it in high school, as it is way better than the STD information I received).

I tested negative for HIV in December 2003, after my doctor told me I had shingles flair up. I went home did a search on the internet and saw that shingles is a warning sign for HIV, so I went to my university health center and got tested (do not know the type of the test). It was negative; this was a year after some moderately risky encounters (3 oral sex exposures on a woman over a several week period + the risk may have been a little higher because of a pretty deep cut in my mouth from a bad fall the week before the sex started). I was really scared then and did not put it fully out of my mind until I had a second HIV-1 test that was negative a couple months later.

Now it is December 2006 and I am worried again. I had another shingles type rash on my arm in October and I told myself I had nothing to worry about because my HIV tests were negative. I was able to keep calm for a while, but soon I started looking up my symptoms on the internet and now I am worried again. Sites like the link posted below really scare me:

http://www.health24.com/medical/Condition_centres/777-792-814-1756,22216.asp

My symptoms:

- Singles like rash in October 2006 (I know a symptom that never dies) - Small persistent skin rash on leg November 2006 (slowly going away with eczema cream) - Toenail fungus infections spreading to uninfected toes (one of the symptoms from the linked website) - Visibly swollen glands under my chin (again another symptom that never dies)

I am going to the doctor and I could not get an appointment until the middle of the month. Do I need to ask about another HIV test?

Cheers,

M.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello M,

Your repeatedly negative HIV tests are definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how.

A negative HIV test trumps any and all symptoms each and every time.

Your problem is one of irrational HIV fears and anxiety. You should ask your doctor about a referral to a therapist to help you confront and conquer these unwarranted fears and worries. Why continue to be a "long time worrier" when you have absolutely nothing to worry about?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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