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PLEASE ANSWER.Possible HIV infection, reliability of STD testing services offered on Internet, etc
Jan 19, 2007

Dear Dr. Bob,

First, Happy, Happy New Year to you and your partner.! Second, I would like to thank you for answering so many questions. Your answers are educational, optimistic and encouraging unlike many others that I could find on the Internet. I have learned from your answers more than from all other web sites, books or other sources. You are really doing a great job! You should put them all together and publish a book. That will be a bestseller.

However, regardless all I have read here two and a half months ago I was foolish (and drunk and horny) enough to have a sex - insertive anal sex and oral sex without protection - with the guy of the unknown status. Well, he is a good friend of my friend and I was told that he was negative. Two-three weeks after that I have got very low fever, usually over night that lasted for like one week without any other symptom. Than, week or two after that I got slightly sore throat, nasal dripping and I night sweating without any temperature. Then, my friend called me to tell me that the guy I had sex with was diagnosed with syphilis. That happened two months after our intercourse. He also told me that it is expected because his friend was very promiscuous but he also told me that fortunately he was also tested HIV-. He also suggested me to get tested for all STD, just in case. However that was beginning of my agony. I did not believe to my friend anymore although he tried to convince me that his friend was tested HIV-. What he told me together with the all symptoms that I had made me believe that I got infected. In the meanwhile, beside sore throat, nasal dripping and night sweating, I got extremely sore, terribly painful and rough tongue covered with white thrush, months ulcers, bitter-sweet taste, gum infection with swelling and bleeding, very dry mouths, pain in both ears .I have never had symptoms like that. I went to doctor and he told me that it is bacterial infection and that all problems in my months are due to nasal congestion and the fact that I was breathing with the open mouth over night for several weeks. He gave me antibiotics and nasal decongestion. After 10 days my throat was much better, as well as a tongue, although I still have little bit itchy tongue, strange taste, and dry mouths even now. Also, like two months after that incident I took full STD screening. All tests were negative, including HIV PCR with sensitivity 400 copies/mL. I was told that that is pretty much conclusive but that I have to do antibody test again in 3 months that scared me to death again. I am waiting for 3 months window period to do antibody test again. In the meanwhile I would like you confirm what I was told because I trust you more than any other doctor in this matter. Also, how reliable are Home Access Kits or services that are offered on-line by different companies such as WebSTD, Comprehensive STD testing, etc.? Can I take my next test with some of those testing services that advertise themselves on the internet? As far as I am aware, you have never answered question regarding STD testing services that are offered on Internet and I hope that you will answer mine. Well, once again thank you for all great work that you and your colleagues are doing on thebody.com. I hope that you will answer my question.

Regards,

Daniel

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Daniel,

"Drunk and horny" are always a worrisome combination.

Unprotected insertive anal sex (and, to a much less degree, unprotected oral sex) place you at risk for STDs, including HIV. Your "full STD screening" two months after your sexcapade is definitive, except for HIV, which requires a test at three months or more. The only FDA-approved home test kit for HIV is the "Home Access Express Test." It's very reliable, but results take three (FedEx) to seven (routine snail mail) days. Rapid HIV tests performed at clinics or doctors' offices provide accurate results in just 20 minutes. As for other STD testing, I do not recommend home testing methods. A physician's physical examination is necessary to know exactly what tests to perform.

Finally, as for publishing a book of "BOBISMS," as it turns out, some very kind and talented readers of this forum are actually working on this very concept! Best seller? I doubt it, unless Oprah decides to select it for her book club. Oprah, are you listening???

Dr. Bob



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