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Getting Tested
Dec 26, 2006

Hi there Dr. Frascino,

I am having alot of anxiety about getting an HIV test and wanted to get your advice.

I am a gay male, and though I haven't had any high risk sex, I did catch non-specific urethitis which was probably gonorrhea from insertive oral sex many months ago.

I have a ton of anxiety over this and know I need an HIV test. However, I am afraid to ask my doctor out of embarrassment (he doesn't know about the STD). I've had two physicals in the last 18 months and neither time did he do an HIV test or ask me about my sexual health. He just did an inspection of my body, asked if I'd been feeling ok, prostate, and blood tests for cholesteral and CBC.

I am very discreet about my sexuality, and my doctor does not know I'm gay. This, along with the fact I don't want an HIV test to show up on my insurance has made me very uncomfortable about getting the test.

Any advice you have would be great. I feel trapped, and the anxiety is turning me into a major hypochondriac. I've always been a very happy person but lately have fallen into depression each and every time I feel like I might have some sort of symptom.

Thank you for this great site.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

First off, non-specific urethritis is not gonorrhea by definition.

Next, if you can't be open and honest with your doctor, you need a new doctor. There's a difference between being "discreet about your sexuality" and compromising your health by being so far in the closet that you're hiding behind the polyester Nehru-collared leisure suits and platform shoes!!! No wonder you're depressed! Closets are health hazards!

If you can't (make that won't) come out, at least find a doctor you can be honest with and who can attend to your "discreet" needs! How about a gay physician? Consider Googling GLMA (Gay Lesbian Medical Association) to find a gay or gay-friendly physician in your area.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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