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One for the books

Nov 24, 2007

Dr. Bob Here is the gist of the story ( I gave my girlfriend HIV by oral and protected vaginal, And I gave my family HIV by sharing toothbrushes) Here is a story for the books. 2 weeks before i was supposed to leave my home and job in Philly, in order to embark on a romantic month long road trip cross country with my girlfriend, I got drunk and slept with some random girl after my friends bachelor party. (not a stripper) It was unprotected oral with, at least partially, protected vaginal. The reason i say partially is because i don't know when she put the condom on me, but when i stumbled out the door ten minutes later it was still on and intact. I went back and found the girl the next morning. (just happened to bump into her while walking through the park) I asked her if there was anything i needed to worry about in the STD department, she said no. I felt ok with her answer. Two days later my testicles began to Itch. I was afraid i may have had herpes. I did some research and decided that it wasn't herpes. When i saw my girlfriend a week later i performed oral on her and had protected sex with her once. About a week later she was diagnosed with a UTI. She also came down with flu like symptoms. Regardless we went on the road trip anyway. We left from New York, by the time we got to chicago the guilt was to much. I had to tell her something, so I told her that i kissed a stripper and was worried about having herpes. I got checked out at an ER. No herpes. That night i realized it may be HIV. I researched the symptoms and i had all of them. Rash, headache, flu, itchy hair and eyebrows, weight loss, night sweats, sore joints, red and white blotches, diarrhea. EVERYTHING. I could see my girlfriend had it too. I stalked the girl i slept with online (Myspace). Asked her again if she had anything, she said no and she said if i contacted her again she would call the cops. So i continued the road trip all the way to Los angeles and back. All the while her symptoms are getting worse as are mine. I get tested with a PCR DNA test at 38 days through labcorp.( I know you don't like those, but i didn't know at the time) It came back negative At 8 weeks i got an antibody test that came back negative. Here comes the worst part. After struggling the whole trip with seeing symptoms of HIV in my girlfriend, I come home and begin to see Symptoms in my mother, father, and brother. Two days after I got drunk and slept with that girl, my brother came to visit. He didn't bring his toothbrush. In fact he doesn't own one. So he used mine and when he came home he used my mom and dads toothbrush. So long story short ,again, i think i gave my girl friend HIV by oral sex and protected sex. And I gave my family HIV by sharing toothbrushes. My brain is about to rupture. I hope you got through that whole story. Any words of encouragement as i role into my 9 week test? I need your words Doc. What do you think? Have I just given everyone I love HIV? Can I really not trust my PCR test?

Response from Dr. Frascino


You gave your girlfriend HIV by oral and protected vaginal sex and you gave your family HIV by sharing toothbrushes!?!?!? Hmm . . . one for the books? No, I don't think so. Rather, I'd say another one for the padded cell would be more accurate!

Your problem is guilt, anxiety and depression, not HIV!

Your HIV risk unprotected oral and "partially protected vaginal" sex with Miss "not a stripper" at a bachelor's party is negligible.

Your symptoms, such as "itchy hair and eyebrows," etc., are most likely linked to anxiety and guilt. The symptoms you are seeing in your girlfriend and family are projections of your "brain which is about to rupture!"

Your HIV tests to date negative PCR DNA at 38 days and negative antibody test at 8 weeks are extremely encouraging.

That Miss "Not a Stripper" is ready to put a restraining order on you and that you lied to your girlfriend when the "guilt was too much," telling her you only kissed a stripper, have merely contributed to your stress.

My advice is quite simple:

1. Level with your girlfriend. It's not only the best way for you to confront your guilt; it's also the right thing to do.

2. Get a single rapid HIV test at the three-month mark. The results will almost certainly be negative. (At that point you should yell WOO-HOO and write back to me amazed at what a ludicrous loon you have been about this entire episode. I'll do my best not to write back with an "I told ya so!")

3. Get professional help for your anxiety and irrational HIV fears. Psychological counseling and anti-anxiety medication may help keep your brain from "rupturing" as you await your three-month definitive test results.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

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