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Dr.Bob=CNN HEROES NOMINEE
Jul 3, 2007

Dear Dr.Bob! First I would like to thank you for your energy, warmth and work you do for all of us. Therefore I have nominated you and your foundation to CNN HEROES, where the network honour extraordinary peoples work in society. I couldn't think of anyone who would deserve that better than YOU!!! OK, I think I have sent you the following questions 5 time and it would been the world to me if you could help me. "Dear Dr.Bob, Thank you for your endless support and work and everything you do for us worried souls. Please, please,please Dr.Bob I need your help. My fear for having caught HIV consumes me and my life has fallen apart. In the summer of 2003 while studying in Holland I had PROTECTED sex with an unknown woman, who I later heard had worked as an escort/prostitute. We had vaginal sex using condom, that didn't slipp or break. We only had sex for approx. 10 seconds as I instantly regreted my stupid, stupid act. We did not have any oral sex or petting in any way. 7-9days later at school I started to feel a little sick i.e warm and tired. Later the same evening/next morning I had a soar throat. I more or less felt like I had a cold or similar. In fact, a cold always gets to my throat I never only get a runny nose. I didn't think much about this the last 4 years as I indeed had PROTECTED sex until a short while ago when I read on the internet about symptoms for primary infection. Since then my life is falling apart, having constant panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, cannot think about anything else than that I have been infected with HIV. I hardly eat or sleep. At this point in time in my life I am not ready to have a test made. How big are the chances that I have been infected with the HIV virus? My girlfriend since one year, with whom I have had a very active sex life has tested negative a short while ago when she got tested for work. Even though it is not a "scientific" proof could the fact that I haven't infected her after all this sex we have had for a year be an indicator that I am not infected? However, I have gone so deep into my fear and depression that my girlfriend cannot stand me due to my apathy. Please, please Dr.Bob HELP ME!!! From a lost soul"

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi lost soul,

Your HIV risk is nonexistent, assuming the latex condom was used properly and did not fail. Your symptoms are not suggestive of or worrisome for HIV ARS (acute retroviral syndrome) or HIV disease. However, you cannot use your girlfriend's negative HIV test result as a surrogate for determining your HIV status.

HIV is not your problem. No way, no how. However, you do have a very significant problem anxiety, depression and completely irrational fears of HIV. This is what's causing your "constant panic attacks, suicidal thoughts," lack of appetite, sleep disturbance, etc. You do not need an HIV test, but you do need the help of a psychiatrist to help you confront and conquer these completely unwarranted fears. I urge you to get the help you need without delay.

Thanks for the nomination!

Dr. Bob



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