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All symptoms...now Woo Hoo (please post, and please read if you are worried well)
Mar 25, 2007

Hey doc

I have posted to your forum many times in the last few months, and you have helped me endlessly with your responses to others and my questions.

Today Im writing to you with my seven-month negative test, and a long awaited Wooo Hooo. I want to take this opportunity to write my own post to all the worried wells regarding symptoms, and how useless they are in diagnosing HIVits a bit lengthy, but please post it, and if youre a worried well please take the time to read it!

My story isn't that different to many others who post on here, I went out, got drunk, hooked up, and partied with no protection, just to make things that bit scarier, this was anal sex, so put me at pretty high risk. A few weeks later I noticed a rash forming on my chest, I didnt think too much of it until the diarrhea followed, then I went to the internet to check what it might be, straight away HIV came up...needless to say I panicked liked Id never panicked before. In the following weeks, the rash spread to my hands, and I noticed skin peeling from my palms. Next came the swollen glands and sore throat, I had awful pain under my arms, and the glands in my neck and groin swelled up, I went to the doctor, and she confirmed that they were indeed swollen. I didnt tell her about my unprotected sex, I was too scared to take the test, she told me it was probably a viral infection that would pass, and to come back if things didnt resolve. I went home, CONVINCED I had HIV, it was the weekend of my own housewarming party, all my friends started to arrive, and I was in NO mood to party, I let my housemates entertain as I sat alone in my room drinking until I could barely move and searching the internet for more symptoms. I carried on like this for about three days until my friends forced me to go the hospital and get myself checked out. I went to the GUM, where they looked at my symptoms, and tested me. The results came back negative (6 weeks), the doctor told me I would have to come back in another six weeks to test again. I spent another six weeks locked in my room, surfing the internet, talking to nobody, doing nothing, except crying and sleeping. I missed nearly a whole semester of uni(a semester I will not get back), I took time off work, and became detached from all of my friends. The three-month mark came, and I went for another testto my amazement, NEGATIVE. How could this be? I still have ALL the symptoms, Im told to go see my doctor to find out what might be causing all these symptoms. I make an appointment, she takes more bloods, everything comes back normal, she has a look in my throat to see how sore it isyou appear to have a bit of thrushOH GOD, she gives me the treatment for thrush, but tells me shes not worried, and she would make another appointment in a few weeks to check on my glands that are still swollen and my new found thrush. I came home, and typed in thrush to the internetfirst hitHIV, Im back to square one, the tests MUST be wrong. I take the treatment for thrush, it clears up, and I go back to the doctor, she tells me that my glands are still swollen, but it is nothing to worry about.easy for her to sayI come home and panic panic panic. I carried on going to see her for the next four months, feeling very depressed in-between, and wasting every waking moment on the internet, looking up symptoms, and statistics on late seroconversion, I Know Im going to be one of them. Finally last week, I broke down in front of the doctor and explained I was still terrified I had HIV, and that I wanted another test (seven months). She agreed to perform another test if I agreed to go for some counselling to calm my fears. I agree, knowing this test will be positive, and that I can almost say I told you so. Today I got my result, NEGATIVE, seven months and one day. I start counselling next week, and hopefully, all my symptoms will disappear, when I accept the news that I DO NOT have HIV.

Please if youre reading this, dont do what I did, Ive lost almost two semesters of unithats a lot of work to catch up on, Ive spent god knows how much on home testing kits, and HIV help lines, Ive lost the closeness I had with my friends as Ive been too absorbed in whats going on in my world. All this could have been avoided if Id have listened to the first doctor five months agoor better still WORN A CONDOM seven months ago!

WEAR A GOD DAMN CONDOMI cant stress how much I regret the past few months of my lifeall this for the sake of not grabbing for a condomI cant put it much simpler than a condom can and WILL save your lifeyou only get one shot at life, its not worth risking for one of the other kind of shots!

Finally, thank you Dr.Bob for all the support and compassion you have given me and so many people, I sincerely wish you all the best in everything you do, stay well, and keep up the amazing work, I have donated and will donate in the future.

Its out of this forum, and to the counsellor for meI wish you all the best!

Relieved in England.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Relieved in England,

WOO-HOO! Excellent news!

Thank you for taking the time to write in and share your story and newfound insights. I'm confident your experience will indeed help others currently trapped in their own worried-well-Hell-nightmare to finally wake up, smell the Starbucks, get tested and rejoin the human race! Life is way too precious and limited commodity to waste even a single moment on needless worry!

Thank you for your donations. (www.concertedeffort.org) May your generosity and compassion towards others in need continue to generate excellent cosmic karma for you! You have dodged the HIV bullet and learned some valuable lessons about life along the way. I'm confident your work with the counselor will help you conquer any residual HIV fears and that your psychosomatic ailments will "magically" melt away. Welcome back to the rest of your life!

Be well. Be happy. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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