STOP bothering Dr.Bob-you probably dont need to!
Jul 6, 2007
Dear Dr. Bob
I sent you an email about one month ago but understand and appreciate that you get too many emails to respond to, so therefore you probably dont remember mine.
I was on holiday in Chile at the time, but have now returned to England as after the 'incident' i saw no other option. I'm a 19 year old male, and was 4 and a half months into a trip around the world.
To cut a long story short I had my drink spiked in a club. I regained consciousness on a bed and was subsequently the receptive partner in two counts of unprotected anal sex. There was no violence involved as i was virtually paralysed and couldn't stop what was happening, although i was aware of what was going on. Additionally, I have learnt that a significantly high percentage of gay men in Chile are infected with HIV.
I am now having counselling which my mum organised, to try and help me cope.
Prior to this I've only had protected vaginal sex-as unlike many people i know the risks and take the precautions.
One month on, I have had checks for STDS and HIV, which have all thus far come back negative. I will get tested again at three months, which goes without saying. Though I'm very worried, I'm not being irrational or climbing the walls.
In terms of possible ARS symptoms I experienced flu 5 days after the event that lasted for over a week. Shortly after this cleared up, i developed swollen glands in my neck, armpits and groin which i still have. I know there is no way of diagnosing symptoms, therefore I wont waste your time in asking for your opinion. What does annoy me is that so many people are unnecessarily worrying, and wasting your time with ridiculous questions. These questions are usually unanswerable(is my 6 week negative HIV test enough?)or just plain stupid(sex with a horse, being one of my personal favourites).
I dont know why you merit many of them with a reply. You should have an automatic system that sends a generic response to all these emails saying CHECK THE ARCHIVES!, as you end up having to repeat yourself constantly.
I very much feel that this highlights how little people know about all aspects of the virus, eg, testing, prevention, infection etc.
Not only do I potentially have HIV, I have had to cope with the trauma of being raped. I think alot of the people that email you with these questions would have gone into complete meltdown if they had had the same experience as me.
If theres anything I can do to help you- maybe sharing the burden of the excessive volume of inappropriate emails you recieve-then let me know.
The site has helped me, despite the general ignorance of the 'worried well'.
Please post this email, even if you dont reply to it, because hopefully it will make people think twice about bothering you. I'm sure you have more productive things to do.
On a lighter note-I would like to thank you for your dedication and kindness to those who actually need it.
Thanks from England from me.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello English lad,
Thank you for your kind comments. Your experience does indeed sound like a nightmare! Your assessment of your situation and plan for a three-month test are right on target. One piece of very encouraging news is your negative one-month STD screen. That your HIV test at one month was negative is also encouraging, because the majority of HIV pozitoids will have detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies by four weeks. However, as you know, this is not a definitive or conclusive result. I'm sending you my best good-luck karma that your three-month test remains negative.
As for whacked-out worriers who write in totally panicked over nothing, well you have no idea how many of them I actually receive. Literally thousands of questions cram their way into my inbox on a continuous basis from throughout the cyber universe. I respond to and post only a very small percentage. I post these for several reasons, not the least of which is to remind folks just how much ignorance and misinformation about HIV/AIDS is still circulating within the general public. This will hopefully translate into support for better and more appropriate HIV prevention, awareness and education campaigns. England does a better job than the U.S. in promoting sex education, STD avoidance and HIV awareness. Hopefully our programs will improve once we have a regime change here in 2008.
Good luck! I'm here if you need me, OK?
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