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Afraid to get routine medical care because they'll test me.

Dec 15, 2006

Count me among the worried well in a fairly major way.

I basically just masturbate with guys. But on a couple of occasions, I've allowed a penis in my mouth for maybe ten seconds, not even evidence of precum, but I had flossed vigorously recently beforehand.

There's also one occasion where I was drunk and I think we tried anal w condom for about two seconds before I nixed it.

My reason for writing. I live in a Red State that I don't want to remain in forever.

I mean, I really, really don't.

I'm in my 40s and have a family history of diabetes and heart disease. I have been taking blood pressure and cholesterol medicine in small doses for five years based on an old prescription from another state, and a doctor friend in yet another state that I've cajoled into renewing them.

However, I haven't had a regular relationship with a general practioner, haven't been monitored for blood pressure or cholesterol in any regular way by a doc for five years.

Casual stops by the drug store blood pressure machine indicate the BP's getting near borderline.

Frankly, I'm scared to start a routine relationship with a general practitioner because I'm scared they'll want to do an HIV test. And on the small chance that test might be positive, I might be stuck w/ the insurance in this state where I don't want to live forever. In effect, I might become held prisoner here by the health insurance system - because it would become impossible for me to get insurance in a place I really want to live long term.

I've thought about approaching a doc offering a "deal" that we won't test me for HIV, but I'm certain that will come off as weird and make them even more suspicious of my status.

I realize that taking case of these more-pressing and even more likely conditions is important, but I fear the idea of being blacklisted by the insurance companies.

What can I do?

Response from Dr. Frascino


I found your post profoundly sad. You've been willing to risk your health for five years, because you are afraid a physician will want you to get an HIV test??? You've been taking blood pressure and cholesterol medicine "in small doses for five years based on an old prescription from another state and a doctor friend in yet another state that (you've) cajoled into renewing them????" That "doctor friend" is not doing you any favors by blindly prescribing medications. In fact, he could be doing you much more harm than good.

Your reasons for not seeing a physician are as irrational as your fears of HIV!!! Even with the CDC's new recommendations that HIV testing become more routine, you can always opt out by merely advising your doc that you do not wish to be tested. No one will test you against your wishes.

Your HIV risks "a couple of occasions of masturbation with guys," "a penis in your mouth for maybe ten seconds" and "tried anal with condom for about two seconds before (you) nixed it" are so extremely remote as to be virtually nonexistent.

Worried well? Yes, undoubtedly. However, much more serious is that you are worried foolish! Risking your health because of a fear of the mere possibility of an HIV test and the consequences of a nonexistent HIV risk is actually beyond foolish. In fact, it borders on the dangerously ludicrous and profoundly absurd! You are being ridiculously preposterous, even for a Red-Stater!

What can you do? Consider immediately trying to find wherever it is that you misplaced your common sense! Then Netflix and watch "Wizard of Oz," playing particular attention to the lessons learned by the Cowardly Lion.

Good luck. I think you'll need it (and not because of HIV!).

Dr. Bob

Hi Doc!!
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