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usual symptoms even after safe sex
Jul 29, 2007

Hi Dr. Bob,

I am writing to you as I am very worried. I am suffering from the usual symptoms associated with ARS. It started with a sore throat and moved onto fever. I am not sure about swollen glands and there are no skin rashes. This happened after exactly two weeks of me indulging in sex with a prostitute. It did not involve any oral (not even covered), no kissing, slight nipple licking (of hers), no anal, only vaginal and no signs of condom breakage - as much as i remember. i felt guilty afterwards and that made me very anxiuos. i smoke on and off and after this encounter i picked up smoking again due to anxiety. i was alright for two weeks but suddenly one morning i woke up and had a slightly dry throat (may be from previous nights smoking and beer drinking). I smoked another cigeratte on top of it and by midday there was an onset of feeling fatigued and feverish. i did gargles and drank herbal tea which eased my sore throat and i felt better. i took paracetamol and by next day i only had fever but no sore throat. i still have some temperature as i am writing to you. my sexual history is pathetic to say the least. i have only had two sexual encounters both with a prostitute as i dont have a GF and have only gone to them when the desire was uncontrollable. i am 26 years old and really scared at this moment about my HIV status. the last time i had protected sex with the prostitute i was very anxious but eventually tested negative. i am just scared i may not be lucky this time even though i dont know of any reason (i had a slight abrasion on my penis shaft which i observed afterwards and this has almost subsided, moreover, the condom seemed intact). i feel i am really stupid going to the prostitutes. i live in australia - sydney. i dont know what to expect. if i test positive i might be the most unlucky guy on this planet- hiv even after safe sex and you can add me to your list of most unique cases.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Whacked-Out Aussie,

Let's review:

1. You are 26-years-old and have only had sex twice (both times with prostitutes and both times adhering to safer sex guidelines).

2. Following the first episode you were "very anxious but eventually tested negative."

3. This time you're feeling guilty and very "anxiuos" (whatever the hell that is!). You also developed a "sore throat and moved onto fever" two weeks post your mattress mambo mania. You describe this as "suffering from the usual symptoms associated with ARS."

4. You also have taken up smoking again due to your HIV fears.

5. You think you may be the most unlucky guy on this planet and that I will have to add you to my list of the most unique cases.

Have I got all that correct????? OK, well, Aussie, I agree your love life will not be featured on the Guys Gone Wild" video series. I'm also certain you will not make it on my list of most unique cases. In fact, quite the contrary. I'm absolutely convinced you'll very soon be added to my astoundingly long list of guilty, anxious wrecks who assume a common sore throat (or other common ailment) is proof positive that they are HIV positive and experiencing ARS. Dude, safer sex is called safer for a reason! HIV cannot permeate intact latex. No way, no how. My advice is simple:

1. If you remain worried, get a single rapid HIV test at the three-month mark. It will undoubtedly be negative. It should once again put your completely irrational fears to rest.

2. Get psychological or psychiatric counseling to help you confront and conquer your unwarranted and irrational fears of becoming HIV infected. The counseling should also explore your sexual hang-ups so that you can hopefully develop healthy sexual relationships without driving yourself round the bend every time you pop your cork!

3. Stop smoking! If you don't this will kill you in a very painful and undignified fashion.

4. Check to make sure someone hasn't put a load of crazy powder in your vegemite.

Stay safe and you'll stay well.

Dr. Bob



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