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Herpes Zoster at 14 months (resubmitted from other forum)
Apr 11, 2008

Dear Dr.

My boyfriend and I have been in a loving and committed relationship for over 5 years now. We are both male and 28 years old. 14 months ago, in a moment of drunkenness, we went to a sex club and my boyfriend received fellatio. The encounter was anonymous and he did not know his partner - it was all in the dark. I was present and observed the situation. That was in December 2006 - we thought nothing of it as it was v low risk. 1 month ago (Feb 2008) he had a bout of herpes zoster, which cleared up quite rapidly. This has been followed by what looks like angular cheilitis on botn corners of his mouth, stomach troubles (pain/flatulence) and flaky skin on the face, with some red blotches on his chest. I am very worried. This seems like a constellation of symptoms symptomatic of early stage hiv disease. My questions are : 1)are these symptoms so early on possible, 14 months after seroconversion? 2) how can this be the case if the only risk here was receptive fellatio?

I know you get these questions all the time, so i apologise for doing this. But I am very worried as we have been having unprotected sex since his last risk (and therefore worried for myself). We are also cautious about going to get tested - we want to be prepared for a positive diagnosis. Do you think my bf's situation is indicative of hiv disease? pleae answer - really worried here !!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Insertive oral sex carries an extremely low risk for acquiring HIV.

Regarding your boyfriend's symptoms, the vast majority of cases of herpes zoster have absolutely nothing to do with HIV disease. His other symptoms are not at all worrisome for HIV disease.

Now what's all this nonsense about being "cautious" about going to get tested"??? This is nothing to be "cautious" about! You are both worried, so just go get a rapid HIV test. Accurate results are available in as few as 20 minutes. Why worry and "what if" yourselves into a state of anxiety when accurate answers are so readily and quickly available? Getting tested will be the most effective and efficient way to put your worries (largely unwarranted, I might add) to rest. The results will undoubtedly be negative. So stop worrying, get tested and start WOO-HOOing, OK?

Good luck to you both!

Dr. Bob



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