Please help again, stuck in iraq
Jun 21, 2007
Dear Dr. Bob,
You answered a question for me on 16 Mar 07 about a lap dance (Title: Lap Dance, Please Answer) and possible HIV risk. I believed you that I had no risk then, but circumstancs have changed and I am petrified with fear. You may remember that I mentioned I was training for my third Iraq tour. Here's a brief synopsis of my issue. The lapdance incident was on or about 7 March. You answered my question on 16 Mar. A few weeks after that I had one instance of unprotected sex with my wife. I thought everything was fine. I thenwent on to further training. As part of the preparations I was given an HIV test on 19 April. I'm assuning that the test was negative since I'm in Iraq now. I had one last pass from 25-30 May during which I had unprotected sex with my wife 4 times. Yesterday, 14 Jun, she mentioned that she had gotten Poision Ivy. She assumed it was from pulling weeds a day or so before. She said she had a scrape and some poison ivy blisterrs on one hand but that somehow it had spread and she had a rash on her chest, abdomen around waistline, scalp around hairline, some under her eyes and across her nose. She also mentioned having diahrea and feeling feverish the night before. Could this be ARS? I'm scared to death and too far away to do anything. I considered suicide briefly this morning. I had the pistol in my hand, but decided I couldn't leave my wife to deal with this illness on her own. Part of me is convinced now that I am HIV positive and that I have killed my wife. Part of me thinks that this is completely irrational. I need you help. Please look this over and my original question. Also, I have no testing options here in Iraq that won't raise serious military complications, at least I don't think I do. Would a home test be adequate? Would the samples I sent in survive a mail-transit time possibly as long as 14 days and still be usable? Please help me, I beg you.
It's now 20 Jun, and my wife says the poison ivy is still popping up in different places. I don't know what to do. The blood draw for my HIV test was on 19 Apr. I think the lap dance incident was on 07 March but may have been a few days later, certainly no later than the 12th. I know I posted the original question twice before getting an answer. Do you know the date of the original post? Do those dates lend any validity to the test? Doc, please if you can't answer this on the site, respond via e-mail -
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Scared Soldier,
It's amazing to me that you are in Iraq, probably the scariest place in the world to be at the moment, and yet your fears are totally focused on a nonexistent problem!!!
I hope to convince you that the "part of (you) that thinks this is completely irrational" is correct and that the part that's convinced you are HIV positive is absolutely wrong.
Let's review the facts. Your HIV risk is completely nonexistent. (See below.) You had an HIV test about five weeks after the "non-exposure," which was negative. Your wife's symptoms are not at all consistent with HIV ARS (acute retroviral syndrome). Poison ivy is extremely common and it is easily spread form place to place by scratching. If your wife is having problems, she should see her doctor. Corticosteroids and antihistamines can help clear poison ivy fairly quickly.
Your HIV fears remain completely irrational and unwarranted. Additional HIV testing is not warranted or necessary. Chances are you could get it done through the military, if needed, although again I do not feel it's warranted. As for Home Access Express testing, yes, you could do this as well and the results would be accurate.
I have absolutely no doubt you and your wife are HIV negative. However, I am nonetheless concerned about you and your suicidal ideation. Although I'm glad you did not follow through with that plan, I do think your mental health status is at risk, probably due to the stress of three tours in Iraq compounded by your irrational HIV fears and perhaps guilt over the lap dance incident. I would even question whether you are psychologically fit for duty. Is there a counselor you can talk to there?
The bottom line is that HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. However, I do believe you have a worrisome psychological problem that should be attended to.
Lap Dance, please answer Mar 16, 2007
I am asking this again and desperate for an answer. I am training for my third Iraq tour. I got an unexpected weekend pass and went home. I didn't have sex with my wife for reasons unrelated to my fear. My 2 year old son grabbed and drank from a water bottle I had been using. I nearly killed my self on the way back to base. Please answer. I'm terrified, details below:
I received a lap dance from a stripper. I groped her nipples a bit, they were pierced. I also grabbed her ass. She was wearing a g-string. I don't have any broken skin on my hands that I can see. She got her chest pretty close to my face but a didn't touch her with my mouth. My face and head were a little sweaty, I may have had shaving kicks on my head and neck. She ground into me enough to cause me to ejaculate in my jeans. Am I in any danger of an STD? Does any of this make sense?
I am asking a
Response from Dr. Frascino
Relax, Max. A lap dance and spunking your Calvin Kleins is not an STD/HIV risk. No way. No how. Your activities at the local Badda Bing did not place you at any risk, other than the risk of having to explain your spunked tighty whities to the Mrs.!
I can't believe you are training for your third Iraq tour! Thank you for your selfless efforts on behalf of us all. Please know your courage and commitment are appreciated by each and every one of us. I'm also doing whatever I can to try to end our involvement in Iraq as quickly as possible and bring you and all our brave service people home from this disastrous Bush-bungle! Keep your head down and return home safe and soon! OK?
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