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hiv in scotland
May 20, 2007

hi dr.bob from not so sunny scotland. whilst on holiday in spain i had PROTECTED sex with a hooker in a strip bar but before we started she gave me a blowjob UNPROTECTED. i have symptom surfed and to my horror i have ALL the symptoms; swollen glands in my throat, back of head, ears, armpits and groin. i also had a runny nose and adry cough. my muscle and joints are sore and muscles bruise easy when i touch them. i also developed mouth sores and more worryingly bleeding from my anus after i go to the toilet. i am very stressed(started smoking) and am a nightmare to live with for my parents. youare the only person i have told about this and it is a bit of a relief to get it off my mind. hiv is still frowned upon in scotland i am scared to tell anybody. please help

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Worried Scotty,

It may comfort you to learn that you are not the only young man to have had an unprotected blowjob followed by protected nookie with a hooker/stripper. In fact if you check only the archives of this forum, you'll find over a gazillion other dudes with your same risk and worries. My advice to you is exactly the same as my advice to them and I hesitate to even repeat it again, as I am fearful of becoming a member of "The Department of Redundancy Department," if you know what I mean, I mean. But here you go, you go.

Your HIV risk is negligible. Protected sex is indeed protected, assuming the latex condom was used properly and did not fail. Oral insertive unprotected sex carries a minimal risk for HIV transmission.

Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. Symptom surfing is never a good idea and more often than not will lead to increased anxiety and more symptoms!

The only way to definitively determine if you contracted HIV is to get an HIV test at the three-month mark. I'd recommend you get a rapid test, because the results are available in as few as 20 minutes.

Turning now to your specific situation, many of your symptoms may be stress/anxiety related. The only ones that even minimally concern me are your reports of easy bruisability and anal bleeding. I would suggest you have your general medical physician evaluate these complaints. In addition I strongly encourage you to quit smoking. If you don't, it will kill you. Finally, I should also note "HIV is still frowned upon" everywhere in the world, not only Scotland! Being paranoid about it and too afraid to even talk about it won't help dispel HIV/AIDS stigma. Your fears are way out of proportion to any real risk. It's time to grow up and accept responsibility for your actions. If you're old enough to be having sex, you're old enough to learn about HIV/AIDS and safer sex techniques. That being the case, you should decide what level of risk is acceptable to you and take the appropriate precautions to prevent STDs, including HIV.

I suggest rather than symptom surf you spend your Internet time reviewing the wealth of information on this and other reputable HIV information sites, paying particular attention to HIV-transmission risk and prevention measures. You should also peruse the testimonials in the archives, as I'm confident you'll find the information there both enlightening and encouraging.

Good luck on your definitive HIV test. I'm quite confident "not so sunny Scotland" will be sunny again very soon.

Dr. Bob



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