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Massachusettsian needs help!
Jun 10, 2007

Dr. Bob,

I love the work that you do here. You do a great job putting a smile on everyone's (well, at least my) face, combining information, compassion, and humor. OK, flattery time is complete for now.

Here was my exposure. Protected oral and protected vaginal penetration (I'm also circumcised) with four different CSW's in Amsterdam's Red Light District (Window ladies). To my knowledge, none of the condoms broke, failed, exploded, or disintegrated (yeah I know condoms don't exactly explode or disintegrate). My red light partners were not from well known HIV/AIDS countries (two Italians, a Hungarian and a Netherlander).

This happened about two years ago. I thought nothing of it for a while, as I was protected. Then the typical doubts came... what if the condom broke and I didn't notice, etc.

Contacted a friend of the family who is an MD and board certified and practicing in infectious diseases. He said that even for unprotected sex, the odds were in my favor that I would not have contracted HIV. Combined with the fact that I practiced safe sex, he did not recommend testing (unless for personal assurance and anxiety relief).

I've been seeing a psychiatrist for a while now for depression and OCD. So I'm obviously prone to this freaking out type thing. But after my life novel, I have a couple questions for you Dr. Bob.

1. Would you agree with this MD's risk assessment? 2. Do you recommend testing as necessary ( not for anxiety relief)?

Thanks Dr. Bob. I really appreciate what you do here. A $200 donation is forthcoming (do you accept money orders?)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Massachusettsan,

First, did you really think saying all those nice things about me would influence whether or not I would respond to your query? Well . . . OK, apparently you were right!

Next, condoms can indeed explode! For instance, when used as water balloons and dropped from a third floor window onto the heads of Jehovah Witnesses ringing the doorbell repeatedly with a handful of Watchtowers. It also works well on Mormon missionaries. (Yes, I know this from personal experience.)

Finally, your questions!

1. Yes, I agree your HIV risk from protected oral and protected vaginal sex would be essentially nonexistent -- no matter who was on the receiving end of your love spear, assuming the latex condoms were used properly and did not fail.

2. HIV testing is not medically warranted. however, depending on your degree of irrational fear, OCD, anxiety and depression, a single HIV rapid test can sometimes be the most effective and efficient means to permanently quell unwarranted worries.

Thanks for your tax-deductible gift to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). Your one gift will touch many lives in desperate need, helping to turn hopelessness into hope. In return I'm sending you good-luck/good-health karma!

Be well. Stay well. (Yes indeed you are well, well, well!)

Dr. Bob



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