Jul 13, 2007
Dear Doctor Frascino:
Hello from way out east again - it is your prostitute pantomimer friend Slipping Away From Sanity in Seoul.
After my protected encounter with a Chinese "therapist" in Beijing, I noticed that I had acquired some kind of UTI, and wrote you immediately with concerns about HIV contraction.
I went for a full spectrum STD check about 8-9 days post-possible exposure. This included an HIV RNA PCR.
I got the results back and I tested negative for HIV and everything else. My Korean doctor claims that this is conclusive after 5+ days, but I am certain he is not an expert on these types of things.
Actually - I did test positive for enterococcus in a urethral swab. I thought this could have come from anything in China, including the funky fecal smelling shower water in a hotel that I was in.
My questions for you kind sir:
1. Can I feel a certain amount of relief from these PCR results? A half smile, a sigh? I will get the conclusive recommended Elisa @ 3 months as you recommend. And at 25 days, today, I am going to take an antibody test just to partially ease my mind as I understand that a great majority of people test positive after 3-4 weeks. But is this PCR test negative at 8-9 days a good sign?
2. Is enterococcus a normal type bacteria for SOME people to have in their urethra? I know it is supposed to be in the backdoor usually - but is there a chance that I have had this all along? One of my previous girlfriends has a big problem with yeast infections and UTI - could I have acquired it from her instead? And can one pick it up simply from masturbation in possibly dirty water?
Thanks as usual for your time and answers doc. You have my ongoing admiration and financial support! Another donation incoming!
Response from Dr. Frascino
1. I do not recommend PCR testing for routine HIV screening, due to the rate of false-positives, other technical considerations and cost. HIV-antibody tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered to be definitive or conclusive.
2. Enterococcus would not be considered normal in the urethra. In fact, it can cause urinary tract infections, bacteremia, endocarditis, diverticulitis and meningitis. It is also not related to vaginal yeast infections. It can be found in contaminated bodies of water. I suggest you follow up with your doctor to have this condition treated.
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