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Constant fear of transmission equals fear of lonely life
Feb 11, 2008

Dr. Bob,

I am a 29 year old male you is finally coming to terms that I am attracted to other men. I have had several experiences with men - all of which were under (what I believe to be) the utmost safest conditions. I have also been tested for HIV infection three times throughout my sexual life (most recent negative test on 1/31/08).

In my quest of self- discovery and experimentation, I am finding that I am extremely paranoid about my sexual experiences and have a constant fear of contractng HIV. It is starting to really affect my life and I am scared that I will wind up alone due to this fear. My "turn ons" include mutual masturbation and, on very rare circumstances, giving/receiving oral sex (protected). I have never had anal sex and probably wont in the furture. Just recently, I had an experience where I licked the shaft and head of a man's penis before putting a comdom on him and performing oral. I asked about his status- clean.. I used the condom through till ejaculation and his penis was not in my mouth when he came. I also checked my own mouth prior to all of this for any abrasions, sores or cuts... all clean..

If I continue to do everything mentioned above, do you feel I am taking the necessary pre-cautions to remain safe? Is there anything else I should be doing? The only part of that experience I would like to take back is the fact that I licked his penis before putting on the condom. Although, I squeezed and checked the head for any type of discharge or pre-cum... none visible.

I need reassurance that I am taking the proper precautions in order to help subside my extreme paranoia and live a normal life. I am starting to embrace who I am but I want to ensure that I am taking the right steps to have a healthy sex life.

Your thoughts are much appreciated.

Thanks.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

With what you've done so far, you could be a "safer sex poster boy!" Yes, you are taking not only the necessary precautions, but also some extraordinary precautions as well. So I'm not at all concerned about your staying safe. However, I am concerned that you are "extremely paranoid . . . and have a constant fear of contracting HIV." These types of irrational and unwarranted fears can ruin a healthy sex life and destroy promising relationships. I urge you to seek professional help in confronting and conquering these fears. Since you are currently on a "quest of self-discovery" regarding your sexual orientation, counseling could help with that process as well. Your fears and coming to terms with your sexual orientation may well be linked. Seek a gay or gay-friendly therapist and discuss both of these issues. You'll find sex to be way more fun and essentially worry-free when done right!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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