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Symptoms as encouragement
Jan 10, 2008

Hey,

im jim...u answered my question about the transgender 'encounter' in tijuana. i read a bunch of other responses and i have a question. So u state that symptoms r an unreliable source to determine HIV status, right?

This is what i found on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiv#The_clinical_course_of_infection

So I understand when u say its not a reliable approach to HIV diagnosis, which makes sense because the symptoms seem to vary from person to person. However it seems that more people have symptoms than people without.

My main question here is whether one can take this as an encouraging (only encouraging - not conclusive) sign that HIV transmission has not taken place especially if the exposure was very minimal/astronomical in ones favor?

This may help people like myself get over the three month period with a clear mind. I'm worried shit-less and I can't imagine doing this for another 90 days.

Sometimes you reply saying 'unwarranted fear' or something of that sort. This is extremely calming for a moment. But just so I understand that correctly...would u say that in those cases u wouldnt mind if these people had sex with oher people again (hypothetically) cuz there is no realistic threat of further HIV infection for other people?? I don't mean to offend u but i think there may be a difference when people say something calming to someone and it only takes them into account or if other people are involved.

Another way to put tht question is do u recommend the HIV test more for the actual detection of possible HIV or do you recommend it more as psychological 'cure' for unwarranted fear coupled with shame perhaps.

And one more question: Maybe i don't really get the dimensions here (I don't know how many times sex occurs per day on this world) but how is it that HIV is one of the hardest viuses to be infected by but still there r so many new cases of HIV. For example the odds for unprotected anal intercourse with a known HIV + person is 50:10000. It seems like it more dangerous to play russian roulette which would be a chance of 1:6. Maybe I'm just confused because for a long time (way before I was sexually active) I thought that its a 1:1 chance when u have unprotected sex with an HIV+. Then again I also thought that oral sex and protected sex were 100% safe ;)

I hope nothing offended u in the question cuz I dont mean to...I'm just scared I guess.

And I also read the stuff u had posted about the AIDS denialist...I thought about it a little bit....actually it is almost criminal for star like dave grohl to be part of such groups because he is if he likes it or not a role model...and if all his die-hard fans dont fear HIV anymore he is technically supporting further HIV infections...its almost as bad as if he were to scream facist stuff on stage...

thank you very much, (thank you also for the guide to ur site for donating)

Jim C.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Jim,

"So u state that symptoms r an unreliable source to determine HIV status, right?" Right!

So you are wondering if no symptoms is encouraging??? Hmm . . . Jimbo we just agreed that symptoms are unreliable. Consequently the reverse is also true. No symptoms is also unreliable. The more important factor is HIV risk. If your exposure was "very minimal/astronomical in one's favor," this would be encouraging: HIV transmission would not have likely taken place. In other words the emphasis should always be on exposure rather than the presence or absence of symptoms.

As for your "hypothetical," it's a bit too hypothetical for me to comment on. Every situation is different. I also recommend safer sex (latex or polyurethane condoms) for all penetrative sex. This, of course, protects all those involved.

My reasons for recommending or not recommending HIV tests are always clearly stated in my responses.

Yes, a 1:6 Russian roulette is indeed riskier than unprotected sex. However, you could wind up dead from participating only once in either activity.

The AIDS denialists are indeed a sorry lot. Luckily the vast majority of Dave Grohl's fans realize his views on HIV/AIDS are both nave and dangerous. Bono and many other contemporary musicians have a more realistic understanding of HIV/AIDS and have done much to promote HIV/AIDS prevention, awareness, testing and treatment.

Dr. Bob



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