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Scared
May 5, 2007

I'm James and I had oral sex done to me by a street hooker around July 2004, about 3 weeks later something like the flu then strep throat and lymph nodes under the jaw and till today in my groin, did some research online found out that it could be symptoms of HIV.

Went to the Doctor, did an HIV test which came back Negative and was told I should have another one done in 3 to 6 months. But 5 months after my Negative HIV test, then came the night sweats, jaw pain, Hip pain, tingling burning sensation in hands and feet and headaches in the back of my head.

So at 8 Months I did another HIV test which also came back negative but the doctor did not actually say Negative he said no HIV antibodies or something like that was found But all my symptoms went away in 1 or 2 days after my results. Then my left hip pain came to the point where it was too much, I was also limping so I want to the same Doctor for help and he made a silly joke I see you're still alive, I told you you'll be around for another 10 years" because at the time I was so convinced I had HIV and he's saying I don't.

Then all my symptoms came right back after that doctor visit, this time it added a fatty tissue about 1/4 inches long in my arm and the lymph nodes in my groin never went away from day one :(

I'm a mess, I wake up thinking of HIV everyday. Scared to do another HIV test.

How bad does it look for me?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello James,

How bad does it look for you? Well, medically, I'd say the prognosis looks excellent. Psychologically, however, things are worrisome indeed.

Let's start with the simple fact that you are HIV negative. I just can't say it any plainer than that. Your problem is psychological. Your fears are irrational and completely unwarranted. Your symptoms are most likely psychosomatic. How do I know this? Look at the facts. Your HIV risk is negligible. Unprotected insertive oral sex with a person of unknown HIV status carries minimal HIV risk, at best. Your symptoms, which tend to wax and wane with your level of anxiety, are not worrisome for or diagnostic of HIV disease. Finally, and most importantly, your HIV tests have been negative out to eight months. "No HIV antibodies" means "HIV negative." A negative HIV test outside the window period trumps symptoms each and every time. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. That said, I will admit you do have a significant problem. "Waking up thinking of HIV every day," being convinced you have HIV, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, is a psychological/psychiatric problem. Yes, James, it really is "all in your head." And that's where you need to put your effort if you want to recover. Your medical doctor should not have joked about your HIV fears. By doing so, he merely scared you all the more, although I'm sure he was attempting to be reassuring. I suggest you seek the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist to help evaluate and treat your irrational HIV fears, anxiety, guilt, depression and psychosomatic illness. Bring a copy of this post and my response to your first visit and discuss it with your therapist. It will help focus your treatment and speed your recovery. Remember, one thing is absolutely certain: HIV is not your problem!

Dr. Bob



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