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Terrified, alone and far away from home
Aug 14, 2007

Dear Dr. Bob:

Please be aware I am not a native English language speaker, but I will try to do my best in order to get your professional (and highly required) assessment.

I am a Mexican guy who travel very often to Buenos Aires, Argentina (god, gorgeous women and men around here!), and now I am living temporarily for 6 months in this city due to a business project.

I am a 42 years old, married man with 2 children (they are living in Mexico now), and I had the stupid idea of trying gay sex with 3 differente partners in some of my trips to this country. I have sworn not to repeat this behavior anymore and I am terrified because of some symptoms and, of course, I have huge feelings of guilt.

In February 2006 I penetrated a guy using a condom, he fingered me, and he ejaculated on my stomach. At that moment I had some open blisters on my stomach due to follicullitis. He could not penetrate me (using a condom), but used a bottle of a white lubricant that in my now paranoid mind I am thinking that could be his own bottled cum (okay, you can laugh here). I took a single Elisa test exactly at the 90 days mark, coming out as negative for VIH-1 and VIH-2.

In September 2006 a guy performed oral sex to me and I ejaculated in his mouth. This same night I discovered a strange, not itchy, rash in my thighs and under my right armpit (red to pink flat spots). This rash has continued until today, and one dermatologist says it is an allergy, and other says that is a micotic infection, but none of the medicine has worked. This rash clears by itself in one or two weeks, but keeps coming.

In June 2007 I performed for 30 seconds oral sex on a guy, he did not ejaculate and I was not aware of any precum, later on he penetrated me (first time ever) using a condom, the condom was used properly and did not break.

After this incident I was overwhelmed with guilt and the common what if scenario. Moreover, one week later I developed sharp pain in the glands under my jaw, sharp pain in my armpits and groin area and skin desquamation in hand and feet. No fever.

These symptoms have cleared by now, but I am suffering from extreme dry skin, dry mouth (by night), and the original rash I discovered in September. Needless to say, while I am waiting to test, I think of HIV every minute of the day, I miss my family and this issue is really affecting my work performance.

What to do?

Thank you very much for your time, and for bringing hope to many, many worried souls around here.

Diego.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Diego,

I absolutely agree with you about the Buenos Aireans! They are hot, hot, hot! Lucky you to be living in such a wonderful city for six months. Have you learned to tango yet?

Regarding your HIV risks:

1. Your Feb 2006 adventure was protected insertive anal sex and being penetrated by a "bottle of white lubricant!" You subsequently had a negative ELISA at 90 days. Consequently, you have no worries here. You did not contract HIV.

2. Your Sep 2006 adventure was unprotected insertive oral sex, which carries a very minimal risk for HIV transmission. The rash you describe is not HIV related.

3. Your Jun 2007 walk-on-the-wild-side involved brief receptive unprotected oral sex and protected receptive anal sex. Assuming the latex condom was used properly and did not break, your HIV risk would be limited to the brief oral sex, which carries a very minimal risk for HIV transmission.

Your "symptoms" are not at all worrisome for or suggestive of HIV ARS (acute retroviral syndrome) or HIV disease. If you are having ongoing skin issues (rash, dryness, etc.), I would suggest you follow up with your dermatologist. These problems are not HIV related.

Your fears of being penetrated by bottled baby batter are indeed laughable (and paranoid to the max!)!!

My advice is straightforward:

1. Get an HIV-antibody test three months from the time of your last potential exposure. The results will undoubtedly be negative. However, this should be the most effective way to put your residual HIV worries permanently to rest.

2. Level with your wife about your Argentinean sex-capades. It's not only the best way to confront your guilt; it's also the right thing to do.

3. I would strongly recommend you seek counseling to discuss sexual orientation issues. You've now had three gay adventures. It seems to me this is more than mere curiosity. Your ultimate happiness as well as your mental and physical health begins with being honest with your wife and yourself.

Good luck. Enjoy all Buenos Aires has to offer. It's a magical city.

Dr. Bob



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