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I am terrified.
Apr 9, 2007

Dear Dr. Frascino,

I hope this finds you well. Thank you so much for all the amazing work you do and for inspiring people with your example. I really believe if more people knew about you and people like you there would be a lot more tolerance and understanding of this disease.

Looking through the forum I also read about your recent loss, and I know words cannot express this enough but I am so sorry. I am sure, however, that you will carry many warm memories of your brother.

So I tried asking you my questions a few times and never got an answer. I realize it is probably because my questions are easily found on this forum but somehow I searched and searched and there is not enough on this. If information like this is given anywhere on your sight please point me in the right direction. My story is really relatively simple: I was in a ltr-both me and my bf were negative (or at least I had really every reason to believe him that he was) and the gloves came off around 3 to 4 months into relationship. We had unprotected sex for over a yearmore really. I was always an insertive partner except for one try to bottom-didt work out :-). Anyway, recently I find out that he lied about his status. I know this makes me a trusting idiot, and does not put him in any better lightbut, I really love himloved. So I get tested about three months after out last intimacy and I test negative. My six months window test is coming up soonand I am so scared. I am 26yo, and this was my first boyfriendreally! I am that nave and to old to be that nave I know. I am kind of Ok with the idea that he lied because as it turned out he was very much in denial himself. I know that in his own way he loved me and was just scared to loose me, but now, on my own I am terrified and really need your helpful words of adviceI got a long lasting flu right after I found out that truth (over three months after last sex), and my stomach was upset. Everything went away and then a few weeks later I got a cold, and my stomach was upset again this time the diarreah lasted for more then a week and I got a white covered tongue and a few mouth cuts/not sores, mouth bites may be, also a sore on my tongue that went away and came back twice. I am so anxiousmy glands are not really enlarged but the right side of my groin is very sensitive at times. In short I am so so so so scaredjust like everyone reallyand want to understand a few things before I freak out completely. I am really very stable and I am trying so hard not be scared. But I am an only child and my mom will be destroyed, especially as she knew my bf and became very close to him as well. She really is just so scared for me, and I cannot help but worry a hell of a lot about being positive and how it will affect everyone around me for years to come.

1. Is it really possible to stay negative after so much sex with someone who was positive? I meanI am sorry but we did have a lot of sex! 2. If I seroconvert and test positive at 6 months, would it be consistent with my late symptoms?

I would really like to help your organization and will donate regardless if I hear from you or not. Just know that you have a fun in nyc. Warmest,J.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello J,

Thank you for your kind comments.

Your situation is far from unique and yes indeed there are many similar scenarios in the archives, although they are probably buried fairly deep and may not be all that easy to retrieve with a quick search. However, I do encourage you to continue perusing the testimonials there, as you will undoubtedly come across many that directly relate to your situation.

To directly answer your questions:

1. Yes, absolutely. Remember the estimated statistical risk for acquiring HIV from unprotected insertive anal sex with a poz partner is 6.5 per 10,000 exposures. There are many factors involved with viral transmission/acquisition, including viral strain, concurrent infections, immune health, local trauma, etc. Your negative test at three months is extremely encouraging! The vast, vast majority of folks who are infected will have detectable levels of anti-HIV antibody in their blood by three months! Your symptoms are not at all worrisome. Acute retroviral symptoms associated with primary HIV disease occur several weeks after exposure. Your "symptoms" developed beyond three months and are therefore, most likely, not related to HIV.

2. No, these two things would not be related.

J, try not to worry so much. You are nearly out of the woods. Get tested and be prepared to WOO-HOO like a lunatic.

Thanks for your donation (www.concertedeffort.org). In return, I'm sending you my very best good-luck/good-health karma that your confirmatory six-month test remains negative.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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