Dr. Bob Please Help A Fellow Dego Out
Feb 19, 2007
I'm in a world of hurt and I could really use your help. I've been sick with high fever and a bunch of other symptoms for the past week - i thought it was the flu but i went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with pneumonia. The doctor asked me if i had hiv or if i was gay or needle drug user! of course it freaked me out. I had a neg rapid hiv test in mid august of last year. My only "possible" exposures since then have been:
july 17 - received protected oral sex from a stripper
september 23 - unprotected vaginal sex with friend
october 10 - protected sex with a girl i knew for a couple of weeks
I questioned the doc about it and she was really adamant about whether or not i was gay or a needle drug user. I tested negative for influenza and strep so she was kind of taken aback by that i guess. Basically, i am now scared s*@tless!
So. What do you think my realistic chances are that i have hiv???
What should i do?
Thanks a bunch! you're the best.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Hurtin' Unit,
I don't have much respect for that emergency room physician! Her bedside manner sucks! (And not in a good way!) If she was concerned that you had HIV/AIDS, the proper question would be "Have you placed yourself at risk for HIV? If so, we can do a rapid test." Physicians should understand the difference between risk behavior and sexual orientation!
Regarding your HIV risk, protected sex should indeed be protected if the latex condom was used properly and did not fail. That should cover your July and October nookies and leaves only a single episode of unprotected vaginal sex in Sept. The estimated per-act risk for acquiring HIV form unprotected insertive penile-vaginal sex with a partner confirmed to be HIV positive is 5 per 10,000 exposures. Your specific estimated risk would be less, because we do not know the HIV status of your September-Gal-pal.
As for symptoms, please note the vast majority of pneumonias have absolutely nothing to do with HIV/AIDS! My advice would be to get a rapid test to rule out the very unlikely possibility that you are HIV positive (from your September unprotected tryst). After that, I'd establish care with a more competent and compassionate physician to further evaluate and manage your pneumonia and other symptoms.
I'm confident you'll be a fully functional healthy unit again very soon.
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