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Feb 11, 2007

Hello, I am a straight-curious guy who has had his first homoerotic encounter 28 days ago and now regrets it because of potential exposure to HIV. I do not suspect the other guy of dishonesty but do worry that he has been mistaken or has deceived himself about the information he supplied in response to my questions, asked before our encounter, regarding his HIV status. He said that he had a complete medical checkup 5 months ago and tested negative to HIV and other STDs, and that he had never suffered or suspected he had been afflicted with an STD. However, he also supposedly had about of infectious mononucleosis (combined with a bronchial virus) last year, from which he recovered over 4 months ago. I have begun to think that the mononucleosis might have been a misdiagnosis of acute HIV infection and that HIV escaped detection during the medical checkup because the negative result was obtained from a test performed during the window period. He had fooled around with only one person (another guy) since his last checkup and that person was not suspected of having an STD and this earlier encounter involved only the same things I describe below about my own encounter.

You will obviously be wondering what happened during the encounter that has led to my present concern. We kissed briefly, twice, for about one or two minutes, which I quickly grew tired of (it just isn't the same with a guy than it is with a girl). He had just had a root canal operation 3 days before our encounter, but did not seem to have any open cuts, sores, or other abrasions. He licked my penis through my swimsuit and then proceeded, finally, to masturbate it directly with his hand and a bit of his saliva.

The day after our encounter I began feeling tired and getting an intermittent sore throat (both of which seemed to go away after drinking water or a nap). Around three weeks later, my throat has been feeling sore again, on and off, which has been relieved whenever I drink water. My throat tends not to be sore when I am indoors instead of outdoors in the cold and the wind. It does flare up and gets worse when I have to read aloud or give speeches without sipping water. My tongue has some white coating, which has often the case even before I had the encounter. I have had almost no nasal discharge of any kind.

There does not appear to be any discoloration or exudate on my tonsils or otherwise in the back of my throat. There is a little soreness in my gums near my front teeth (I should mention that I scorched the inside of my mouth with some hot pizza a few days ago).

I have been feeling my neck and there do seem to be two small lumps, moveable back and forth, near the base of the left side of my neck where it meets the shoulderblades (they seem to be part of the muscle or the blood vessel that runs up the side of the neck - there is something similar on the right side of my neck, but less obvious to the hand). The left side of my neck feels stiff and some soreness radiates from the upper vertebrae down my left shoulder (the beginning of the stiffness coincided with the end of a bad night's sleep in which I rested my weight on one side of my neck. I seem to be waking up in the same position repeatedly). There is no palpable swelling of the lymph nodes in my groins or armpits - I am not so sure about those in the neck because I don't know exactly where to look for them.

I have not had any headaches or fevers over the past few weeks - indeed, I wake up with a cool face even when I've left the radiator on at night.

The dread of HIV infection consumes my waking and sleeping hours. I have read all the disclaimers and post here to seek your opinions about the classic question.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello "Straight-Curious Guy,"

Your HIV risk is nonexistent.

Your symptoms are not suggestive of or worrisome for ARS or HIV disease.

Your HIV fears are unwarranted and most likely linked to guilt over your "first homoerotic encounter."

My advice:

1. Get a single HIV test at the three-month mark if you are concerned. It will undoubtedly be negative, but it may well be the most effective and efficient means to put your unwarranted worries permanently to rest.

2. Get counseling to help you confront your irrational HIV fears and sexual orientation. It seems to me you may be (inappropriately) linking gay sex with disease, because you have some hang-ups about your "homoerotic" tendencies that you are having difficulty coming to grips with. Whether you are gay, straight, tranny, bi-curious, straight-curious, gay-curious or Republican-repressed, I just want you to be honest with yourself. Sex is supposed to be (and certainly can be) fun, not anxiety provoking.

Dr. Bob



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