3rd one - No question, please read though (WORRY) (RISK PER
Feb 2, 2008
Dear Dr. Frascino,
Just wanted to send a quick message through to say thank you for replying to my question so quickly and my apologies for sending a second one without giving you enough time to reply ("increased risk for mutual masturbation" - 26th/01, "2nd try" - 27th/01).
I used PayPal and made a donation of $150 dollars to your foundation today (name isn't Marc - but we bi ones have to be careful - not just sexually :)).
I also want to use this opportunity to let you know I genuinely admire what you do and the dedication you have put into this field. I want to also use this chance to send YOU all my good luck karma, my good health karma and just general happiness karma for you and your man. I am sure, with all the good you do, you are flooded with good karma - but you deserve it all and one can never have enough. Knowing you, however, you will probably just pass it on to other people.
Your words helped me calm down and although my mind is still playing tricks with me (even a remote chance is one I don't like taking with something as serious as HIV) it was good to receive that reassurance. If you want, I will let you know the result of the six week duo test?
Thank you again and although not happening anytime soon, if I ever find myself in California I would love to be given the chance to take you and your partner out for a good meal as a long overdue thank you from all the people you have helped and advised.
Oh and by the way, I am half Lebanese, not Saudi Arabian, so you will have to get the oilfield from another posting Arab or half-Arab! :)
All best wishes,
Mxxxx (yes, Mxxxx is the real name :))
Response from Dr. Frascino
Thanks for your thanks, extremely kind words, good-luck/health/happiness karma and your generous donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). Your one gift will touch many lives in desperate need. On behalf of those folks, please accept my heartfelt thanks.
Try not to let your mind play tricks on you. We all need to keep "remote" risks in their proper perspective. (See below.)
Finally, regarding my ongoing desire to share my good-luck/good-health/general-happiness karma, you are correct. I do try at every opportunity to give it away to those in need. What never ceases to amaze me is that whatever I give in the true spirit of generosity and compassion always returns to me a thousand-fold!
M, I'd be delighted to WOO-HOO with you whenever your results return.
Be well. (And that's a doctor's order!)
P.S. No worries about the oilfield. They're a real bitch to package up and send in the mail anyway.
Can I relax? Dec 15, 2007
I love the sight and your work on it. Please, please answer my question, I'm making myself crazy with worry. I recently tested negative for HIV 1 and 2, 6 months after a possible exposure while on a business trip in Germany. Are these tests conclusive? Since I was in Europe is there a greater chance of infection by group O or N subtypes than in the U.S. to make these tests not definitive? I thought my negative tests would thrill me but I'm so concerned about these subtypes and how they affect testing I can't enjoy it. Please help me. I've made a contribution to your wonderful cause. Thanks for all you do.
Response from Dr. Frascino
"Can" you relax? Good question!!! Can you??? That's not a question I can answer!!! I have no idea if you can relax or not! Now if you were to ask me "should" you relax?!? That's a question I can answer. Yes, you absolutely should. I would consider your negative HIV-1 and HIV-2 tests at six months to be definitive and conclusive. I would not fret over extremely rare subtypes in Germany any more than in the U.S. (See below.) The odds you contracted a rare strain of HIV are about as high as those of Mary Cheney having a three-way with the Bush Twins.
So tell me, my friend, can you relax?
Testing for HIV 'O' and 'N' in the United Kingdom Oct 26, 2007
Dear Dr Bob - I am hoping you can answer some anxiety-inducing questions I have about HIV testing...I live in the UK and have, over the years, had unprotected sex with long-term partners, one of whom was from Japan (don't know how relevant that is!), behaviour which was stupid and irresponsible, I now know. I have been married now for nearly 8 years and both my husband and I have been faithful all that time. During pregnancy in 2004, I became extremely worried about HIV and had ante-natal testing for HIV 1 and 2, which came back negative. This didn't assuage my fears and so 9 months later, in 2005, I was tested again for both HIV 1 and 2, again negative. STILL not appeased, I had another test in 2006 (again for HIV 1 and 2), still negative. However, as I'm sure you've heard a million times before, once a person is preoccupied with HIV, they start reading all the literature and get more and more frightened - and indeed I am...On your site, I have read about HIV strains O and N - yes, I know they're rare but they exist! My question is would HIV tests in the UK over the last 3 years pick up these strains 100% of the time or would I need to ask specifically for these types to be assessed? I just want to be absolutely certain that I don't have this disease so that I can finally get on with my life! I have a feeling you're going to say that 'HIV is not your problem, no way, no how' but I really feel that I need to know the most up-to-date information on these strains and the testing for them. What should I be asking for? Please, please advise me for the sake of my little family! Many, many thanks for taking the time to read and, hopefully, answer this question, a desperate Mum
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Desperate UK Mum,
You are absolutely correct: I am indeed going to advise you in no uncertain terms that HIV is not your problem. No way. No how! Your problem is being "preoccupied" with the fear of being HIV infected, not HIV itself! Your repeatedly negative HIV-1 and HIV-2 tests out many years after your last potential exposure are definitive and conclusive. Do you need testing for extremely rare strains? No, absolutely not. You don't need anymore HIV tests whatsoever. What you need is a bit of perspective on your irrational fears. Often our worries are way out of proportion to actual risk. For instance, most people worry more about being murdered than committing suicide, yet each year the number of Americans committing suicide is twice that of those murdered. Similarly folks worry more about being struck dead by lightening bolts than falling out of bed, yet 10 times as many Americans die from falling out of bed. Your chances of being HIV infected are essentially nonexistent, despite the existence of extremely rare strains of the virus. Certainly the chances of your being HIV positive are far, far, far less than the chance of your being hit by lightening. So if you put all this together, if you are not absolutely "preoccupied" and completely anxiety-ridden over the possibility of your falling to your death from your Sealy Posturepedic each and every time you crawl into bed, then your fears of HIV are way overblown and completely irrational!
My advice is that you need to acknowledge you real medical problem anxiety and unwarranted HIV fears and to get these problems attended to by seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist who can help you confront and hopefully conquer these irrational worries!
So "what should you be asking for, for the sake of your little family" (not to mention your own sanity)??? The answer is a referral to a competent psychiatrist. Bring a copy of this post and my response to your first visit and show it to your therapist. It will help him help you!
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