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A more useful follow-up question
May 1, 2008

Dear Dr. Bob,

I recently asked you about a exposure I had in an adult theater that you proclaimed to have a "completely nonexistent" HV risk. First let me thank you for this response, it put my mind at ease for 5 weeks.

However, 5 weeks later, I developed a horrible flu, that consisted of respiratory symptoms (loud, painful cough, congestion) and 4 days of fever. The cough and congestion lasted another week, and I did not have other symptoms like lymph nodes or pharyngitis. Of course this illness got me all worried again about HIV and the possibility of ARS. I have had a poor apetite and a bit of weight loss, but I think this is due to stress.

So I have a few more questions that may be helpful to others.

First, there are many mixed messages online about respiratory symptoms and ARS. What is the truth? Could my illness have been ARS?

Second- I want to be tested, but don't think I can wait until 12 weeks. However, I have read that viral illnesses can cause false positive HIV tests, and I think that the chance of a false positive this soon after a bad flu could be higher than actually being positive from my exposure, and that would be even worse then not being tested. When is the right time to be tested?

Finally, why isn't is possible to transfer HIV to yourself by licking your hand after even briefly touching someone's genitals? I assume that the risk here would be less than oral sex without ejaculation, but is there any real way to quantitate this?

Thanks again for your time, and I promise to leave you alone after this one, and to send your foundation a donation for all your fine efforts here.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Glory-Hole Guy,

Are you back again so soon????

I tend to doubt your additional questions are going to be all that "helpful to others," because your ongoing fears continue to be completely unwarranted. Glory-Hole Guy, you correctly report that I "proclaimed" your HIV risk to be "completely nonexistent." (See below.) Consequently neither I, nor any rational reader of this forum, is going to get all that excited that you caught a routine chest cold and "of course got all worried again about HIV and the possibility of ARS." Exactly which part of "completely nonexistent HIV risk" are you having difficulty understanding???

To quickly address your specific follow-up questions:

1. Could your illness be ARS? No, of course not. Why? Because you can't have HIV with a completely nonexistent risk! As for symptoms of ARS, I've addressed this topic countless times before. The message was never "mixed" nor anything but straightforward. You can review that information many times over by doing a simple search of the archives for "ARS symptoms."

2. Once again this topic has been covered at least a gazillion times maybe more! HIV-antibody tests are recommended at the three-month mark. Tests taken prior to three months are not considered definitive.

3. Because if HIV were transmitted that easily it would have wiped out the planet long ago. Yes, I can quantitate the "completely nonexistent" risk for you. It's zero, zip, nada!

Glory-Hole Guy, as I mentioned before, I strongly recommend you get counseling for your irrational HIV fears as well as for exploring sexual-orientation issues. Your future health (both mental and physical) and happiness depend on it.

Thanks for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). I'd offer to send you my good-luck karma in return, but in reality you don't need it! Why? Because your HIV risk is "completely nonexistent," remember?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Glory Hole- Time-sensitive action needed?? Mar 17, 2008

Hi,

I have a quick question that I hope I know the answer to. I was in an adult theater yesterday and there was a glory hole. The guy next to me stuck his penis in through the hole, and I held it for maybe a few seconds. No stroking or anything else.

I then masturbated myself with the same hand and even licked that hand to lube myself. I obviously don't know the status of the guy next door, and in fact, this is the only MSM contact I have ever had (I'm 45).

Is there any risk associated with this contact, and do I need to do anything immediately?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I agree you most likely do know the answer to your own question. Your HIV-acquisition risk is completely nonexistent. But you knew that already, didn't you? Of course you did! The deeper issue here more likely has to do with your sexual orientation. You are 45-years old and you find yourself in an adult theater masturbating while holding an anonymous penis, which appeared through a glory hole. Obviously this is not the most romantic of trysts for your first MSM experience. Counseling may well help both with your irrational HIV fears as well as with sexual orientation issues.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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