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Please help me, friend from SEA
Apr 15, 2008

Dear Doc,

Please help. I am a male from a country in SEA. 7 days ago I went on a working trip to another SEA country and did something really stupid. I paid for sex. Now I am very very worried about my exposure to HIV. I am getting a lot of conflicting information in my country and I am utterly confused and scared. I cannot sleep, eat and work at all. I'm worrying all the time.

This is what happened. During the act, the lady sat on lap and rubbed her vagina against my penis unprotected. After around 2 mins of rubbing she tried to insert it without protection.I shouted at her and stopped her. Then she put on a condom for me but because of her rash act I was already shaken and the penetration lasted only 2 minutes before I ended it. I took the condom and made sure it was intact. I am very worried sir, what is my risk? Am I going to get hiv from this? I really regret what I did. I feel so stupid.

The very next day I came down with vomiting and diarhea which after going to the doctor diagnosed as stomach infection. Can this be ARS? I have been feeling weak and unwell since and worrying everyday. I don't know how to last through 3 months. I'm so sorry I did this stupid thing. I'm already thinking of how to tell my loved ones I have hiv and what I should do. Suicidal thoughts are creeping in. :_(

I will send a donation to your organisation as I greatly respect your work. All the way from SEA to you. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

If your lap-dancing lady did not actually manage to get your joystick into her love canal, your HIV-acquisition risk would be essentially nonexistent. Latex-condom protected sex is indeed protected, assuming the condom was used properly and did not fail (break). HIV cannot permeate intact latex. No way. No how.

Symptoms related to HIV ARS (acute retroviral syndrome) manifest themselves in two to three weeks. Consequently, whatever was causing your vomiting and diarrhea the day after your tryst with the Naughty Lady of Shady Lane, one thing is certain: It wasn't caused by HIV! Your worries are unwarranted. Guilt and anxiety may well be the cause for your feeling unwell.

Now, what is all this nonsense about suicidal thoughts??? Snap out of it! You do realize I'm HIV positive, don't you? If I committed suicide in January 1991 when I contracted HIV I wouldn't be here to answer your question! I find those who talk of suicide simply because they fear HIV to be somewhat insensitive to those of us who have been dealing with the challenges of cohabitating with HIV on a daily basis!

If you remain worried about HIV (and clearly you are), get a single rapid HIV test at the three-month mark to put your unwarranted fears permanently to rest. Your result will undoubtedly be negative.

Thank you for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). In return I'll send my good-luck karma that your definitive three-month HIV test will be negative. I'm quite confident it will indeed be negative.

As for getting conflicting information about HIV transmission and risk in your country, I'd suggest you peruse the wealth of information about HIV in this forum, in its archives and on the related links. I'm confident you'll find the information consistent, enlightening and reassuring.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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