Gingivitis and HIV
Feb 11, 2008
Dear Dr. Bob,
I have been a "hobbyist" for many years against my better judgment and marital vows. In the last several months I confessed to my wife and began to work on my marriage through counselling, etc. It has been incredibly fulfilling. But I can't get past the fear that I may have contracted HIV through my exploits (20 or so) which only included unprotected oral with female pros (giving and receiving). I have had some problems with gingivitis in the past -- not severe but enough to bleed occasionally when eating an apple. Over the past three months I have had a pretty persistent dry throat -- not painful, just parched. I know that the only way to get over this fear is through testing, but I am terrified beyond belief. Can you give me some reassurance that can ease the anxiety of my inevitable trip to the clinic? Better yet, could you tell me that there is no logical reason for a test at all?
Thanks so much. A donation is a no-brainer! It's on the way.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Scared Senseless,
Oral sex carries only a negligible risk for HIV transmission. Your symptoms are not worrisome for or suggestive of HIV ARS (acute retroviral syndrome). Your fears are largely unwarranted in terms of any real risk. A single rapid HIV test at the three-month mark is the most efficient and effective way to put your fears permanently to rest. The odds are astronomically in your favor. Getting testing is also a "no-brainer." As Jack Bauer on "24" frequently says, "Just do it. Do it now!" You'll be glad you did!
Thanks for your donation (www.concertedeffort.org).
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