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Please, read this (I don't need a response!)

Jul 31, 2007

Dear Dr. Frascino,

Recently, I had an encounter with an unknown woman, after a night of drunken revelry.

We engaged in unprotected oral sex for, if saying an extremely liberal estimate, less than 5 minutes. This was not continuous. I was anxious, obviously. But, in the past couple of days, things were put into perspective.

The only bodily fluid I was exposed to was saliva (even while drinking, blood is something you notice. Also, I could find no evidence of blood on my underwear the next morning). Saliva, carrying a negligible risk of transmission, isn't exactly a worry.

I also began to obsess, fiddling with Mr. Happy two days after, inspecting absolutely everything. I thought that I had a mark that could possibly be an abrasion (though, I had no pain, and had to stretch the skin back considerably to see anything - it just appeared to be an area, perhaps the size of a hair follicle, that was reddish). Realistically, I didn't feel any pain and there was no blood. If anything it was probably just the epithelial layer, with some irritation (real or imagined, from vigourous post-event skin pulling), which I believe would not be a worry at all.

Even more good signs: 1) She insisted on a condom (we stopped everything after this, I did not have one), which I am sure was not some special consideration for me. 2) She was confident in her lack of STDs and not having HIV (I double-checked this, when completely sober, and she was singing the same tune). Also, she said, "This doesn't happen everyday you know." Which, not only is reassuring, I think was showing a bit of her frustration at my questions! 3) After she stopped the brief oral, Mr. Happy, completely on his own accord, rubbed himself against her chest. I believe this would further decrease the amount saliva on the areas that rubbed against her, notably: the small red mark was on the underside of Mr. Happy. 4) Before starting she had a drink of beer (Perfect, more killing power!) 5) She was not a sex worker, just a woman on vacation (and all of what she told me about herself has been true, she even told me where she was off to next). 6) She is from the Northern Scandinavian countries - which have a very low rate of HIV infection.

Obviously, I've thought a lot about this (I'm sure you may be thinking that I'm a tad obsessive). Well, no bother, on we go!

At this point (now 9 days after said event), not only do I feel comfortable with my chances (seeing that they are essentially non-existent, even if she were HIV positive), I feel that she too is HIV-negative (as she said).

So, in conclusion, I'm okay.

A special bonus of currently working at an institute of public health in some unnamed European country is that I have spoken with people who have been involved with the study of HIV/AIDS since the 80's. One researcher I spoke with was very reassuring; she was not worried at all over the events. Also, the physician I spoke with was not concerned about the HIV risk in the least (he asked me what it would take for me to stop worrying about this).

Short version: Brief oral. No blood, only saliva. No chance!

I will still be getting a test upon my return home (at two months). But, it is going to be telling me what I already know.

Thanks for listening. You were an unbelievable amount of help, all I can hear (even though I don't know your voice) is "It will be negative."

I have my "woo-hoo" ready, and I know I'll get to use it.

Kindest Regards, Mr. Doing Okay

PS. You are doing amazing work, and are truly an inspirational figure.

Never, never, never give up. We'll beat this disease.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Mr. Doing Okay,

I absolutely agree with you and all the advice you have received to date. Your definitive three-month HIV test will undoubtedly be negative. Your WOO-HOO is now less than two months away. I'll have to remember to put my earplugs in around that time to be ready for your full-throated and well-practiced WOO-HOO exclamation!

Good luck (even though I'm confident you don't really need it!).

Dr. Bob

ARS symptoms follwing a dumpster dive

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