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Symptoms of ARS or anxiety?

Jan 19, 2008

Dear Dr. Bob,

I've been reading through the archives recently and have found a lot of reassurance and comfort from many of your postings. Approximately 6 weeks ago, I had sex for the first time with another male. I'm a 26 yr. old male and was raised in a very religious home where homosexuality was always condemned. Unfortunately for me, I've been attracted to men for as long as I can remember. I have had sex with other women, but my curiosity got the best of me and I finally hit the sack with a 24 yr. old male that I met who said that he was also curious. He claimed to have a girlfriend and said that he had never had sex with another guy before. I believed him until we were in bed and he immediately began performing (and quite expertly I might add) oral sex on me. This lasted approximately 3-4 minutes. Then he told me that he wanted me to top him. I was too horned up to say no, though I had never had anal sex with another man before. I was smart enough to use a condom (one that he supplied). However, I was so close to finishing from the expert oral he provided that I didn't last more than 30 seconds or so before I blew my load. As far as I know the condom did not slip or break, though I didn't examine it afterward.

I realize from reading the archives that this was a rather low-risk encounter, but 4-5 weeks after the encounter I had a fever for a few days and have had diarrhea on and off for the past two weeks. Could one experience diarrhea only, without other symptoms, during ARS seroconversion? I plan on getting tested at the three-month mark just to put my fears to rest, but I can't help but think I was duped by a hot guy that said he had never had sex with another guy and then gave me expert oral and asked to bottom! I just don't think I'm that lucky, or unlucky depending on how the test comes out.

Thanks for all you do. Your work is amazing. I'm currently getting my masters in social work and your work has inspired me (regardless of my status) to become an hiv counselor/educator. There is a lot of false information out there and I hope to be part of the change. I wish I had the money to donate to cause, but student loans are the only thing keeping me afloat right now. Sincerely,

Worried First Timer

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Worried First Timer,

Unlucky? Are you kidding? Do you know how many hot, horned-up dudes are reading your post wishing they could be as "unlucky" as you were to be "duped" by Mr. McHottie Bottomboy??? Plus he gave great head!!!!

First-timer, your problem is not HIV, but rather guilt and anxiety resulting from being "raised in a very religious home where homosexuality was always condemned!" You and your studmuffin played very safe. Assuming the latex condom didn't fail (you would have noticed if it did) and was used properly, your HIV risk would be essentially nonexistent. Sure, if you're worried, get a rapid HIV test at the three-month mark. The result will unquestionably be negative. However, rather than worry about this non-exposure or spend time bad mouthing your spunky McHunky, I'd suggest you send the guy flowers and schedule your next passion-soaked rendezvous tout de suite!

I applaud your decision to become an HIV counselor/educator. Yes indeed there is an enormous amount of misinformation and lack of awareness about HIV/AIDS (and being gay, I might add). Much of it is fueled by "very religious" households like the one you grew up in. I would urge you to begin your social work with your friends and family. Level with them about your sexual orientation. It's always harder to condemn one's own flesh and blood! Very religious folks are not bad people by nature; they are often only misguided, having been indoctrinated from the pulpit to hate and fear, rather than to love and accept. (For a closer look at fundamentalism's continued obsession with us check out two new films: Abomination: Homosexuality and the Ex-Gay Movement (2006), and Fall from Grace (2007).)

Thanks for your compliment. I'm flattered that you believe my work is "amazing." It's really not. It's just honest and I hope both compassionate and enlightening. I urge you to be the same in dealing with your friends, family and future clients!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

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