Jan 1, 2007
Help me Dr. Bob. I'm paranoic that HIV is ultimately going to get me. I've tried not having sex but then I get so horney I wind up paying a hooker. I always always always use a latex condom and I check it constantly during sex and it has never broken or slipped or anything. Yet I still remained worried. I sit around all day smoking a couple a packs of cigarrets and worry how I'm going to tell people I've got it and what if my insurance doesn't cover all the costs and stuff like that. I think I'm so worried because my partners were all professional sex workers so the risk must be enormous --- right? I'm spending a fortune on home HIV tests. All negative so far but I feel it's only a matter of time. I order them 5 at a time now!
| Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Fretful Fred,
You remind me of Americans crossing the street in London! You keep looking to the left when the real danger and oncoming traffic is coming from the other direction! You've always had latex-protected sex and yet you remain "paranoic" that HIV is going to get you, so you spend a fortune on unnecessary HIV tests and smoke two packs of cigarettes a day worrying. If the latex condom was used properly and did not fail, your HIV risk would be essentially nonexistent. Analogous to the traffic in London, you are looking in the wrong direction for your health risk. I have no doubt smoking two packs of cigarettes a day will kill you. No ifs, ands or buts (well, other than cigarette butts, that is)! I find it amazing that we, as humans, pride ourselves on being the only species that comprehends the concept of risk and yet we have the unexplainable habit of worrying about mere (and often extremely slight) possibilities, while blissfully ignoring very real possibilities. Just look at how many Americans agonize over Avian flu, which to date has killed precisely no one in the U.S. But then we have to be cajoled into getting a flu shot, even though flu kills 36,000 Americans each year! Here's an interesting statistic: the number of Americans who commit suicide is nearly twice the number murdered each year.
Bottom line: pay attention to the dangers that are hiding in plain sight! Stop smoking. Stop wasting money on completely unnecessary tests. Continue to use latex condoms!
Be safe. Be well.
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