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Can't Go on Like This - Please Answer!
May 16, 2007

Hi Dr. Bob, Kerouac guy here. Well, as you know I tested negative at 191 days after two incidents of unprotected insertive vaginal encounters. Relief? I wish. Molluscum, tinea rash, folliculitis, dermatitis, mouth ulcers, a NEVERENDING burning sensation in my feet accompanied by pins and needles and pain. I'm sitting here at work begging myself to move on. To give over to reason. I've had lots of therapy and will have lots more, and this has helped with so so many other areas of my life. But not this. My partner, who I levelled with - and who has tested negative alongside me - got really ill with a fever, sore throat, nausea three weeks after we resumed unprotected sex in January. That terrified me. hence the second HIV test in April. Please, please answer my questions.

1. Is it possible for me to have all the above symptoms and NOT have HIV? Even if the burning and tingling - which is constant - turns out to be Peripheral Neuropathy? 2. Could my partner's illnes in January be due to the flu, not ARS? 3. What do I need to do? Go to an infectious diseases specialist or stop chasing a disease I couldn't possibly have?

I love you Dr. Bob. You know I'm a long time reader and that I've donated in the past. I've tried everything to let this go. None of the above conditions scare me in isolation. To be honest, as I've said before, I'm not even afraid of HIV anymore because of people like you. But this is ruining my life and the therapy ain't working.

Please help an old pal out!

With all the respect in the world, Kerouac Guy

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Kerouac Guy,

Are you back again?

1. Yes, of course it's possible. In fact that's exactly what's happened. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how.

2. Yes, of course, and most likely that's exactly what it was.

3. Stop chasing a disease you could not possibly have. I also suggest you bring a copy of this post and my response to your next therapy session. Your psychiatrist needs to know that "therapy ain't working."

You do have a problem, Kerouac Guy. It's just that the problem is not HIV! Your current complaints seem to be all skin related. Have you seen a dermatologist? These common ailments can often be cleared up quite easily.

Things can and will get better, Kerouac Guy. Trust me! I'm a doctor!

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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