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Dr. Bob - I am extremely frightened

Mar 24, 2008

First, let me explain that I have generalized anxiety disorder for which I am undergoing therapy. My wife and I lost our son about nine months ago in an auto accident and as a result her depression has left her unwilling to be intimate. Being frustrated, I went to a strip club to get a lap dance (have not been to one for years since I always worry about catching HIV in an environment like that). In any event, I had a lap dance and she did the usual bump and grind thing, and also briefly sucked on my penis through my pants (dry blow job). I was fully clothed, my zipper closed, and was wearing a condom, since I did not want to mess up my pants. I touched her breasts and bottom, and she had panties on. She said she had a "new" tatoo on her abdomin, and asked that I not touch it - which I did not to the best of my knowledge. I am generally so nervous that I pick my cuticles, but there were no open wounds, just some healing hang nails. I was certain to wash my hands before removing the condom afterwords. My fear is that somehow by touching her, since she said she had a "new" tatoo, that she would have had traces of serum on her skin somewhere that would have infected me. (I did not see any blood or scabs on her). I can't sleep and this fear is paralyzing me. I will send you a cash donation, as I really do not need to upset my wife any further through her knowing I am concerned about the health affects of a lap dance. God bless you and your work. I pray that you will not feel that a test is necessary.

I also forgot to mention that the stripper asked me to scratch her back since it itched. As you know I have generalized anxiety disorder (mentioned in my earlier email) and am terrified I exposed myself to HIV by scratching her back for her. I gently scratched it, I know it is OCD, but I am going crazy with worry. Reassurance from you would allow me to sleep again. God bless you and as I mentioned in my previous email, my cash donation is on the way. Thanks for your compassion and good work.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your HIV-acquisition risk is completely nonexistent. Your fears about serum from a new tattoo getting into your picked cuticles are irrational. Equally unwarranted are your fears of contracting the virus by gently scratching Badda Bing Betty's back. HIV testing is not warranted. The only reason to even consider testing would be to permanently put your irrational fears to rest if indeed you cannot stop perseverating on this "non-exposure!" Please note the only reason to test is to calm your completely unwarranted anxieties. The results would unquestionably be negative. Talk to your therapist about your "paralyzing fear" of HIV despite overwhelming and irrefutable evidence that you are HIV negative. Show him this post and my response. It may help focus your ongoing therapy. Remember, HIV is not your problem. No way. No how.

Thank you for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation ( It's warmly appreciated.

Dr. Bob

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