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HELP--At least some words of Wisdom
May 10, 2008

Dr. Bob- I know you get so many posts, and I know that I can probably find all my answers in the archives, and I know that I am going to ask you some QTNDs, but I hope you can take a quick moment to answer me.

I had my first msm experience a couple of weeks ago. I am a married man. I know that I have to come to terms with my sexuality and am in the process of figuring it out. At the moment, I am very, very scared of my ARS symptoms. I went to a bath house exactly 2.5 weeks ago. I performed and received oral sex from several people, all were protected. My only exposure could have come from pre-cum transfered by their hands to the condom to my mouth--is that even possible? Also, I used the same towel to clean myself off, I dont know why and realize that was a mistake, but it was mostly just the shaft, but maybe the tip. The other expsure my have been wiping my butt with the towel, I didnt go near the hole, but I may have come close, is that transfer worrisome? I know you will probably say that if the virus was that strong, this pandemic would have already destroyed more than it has. So see, you are right, I have done my research and answering my questions. My problem, I feel like I am having several symptoms of ARS. I have had a few days of night sweats, starting one week later. I had a cold sore from week one to week two, just one, but it was pronounced on my tongue. And now I have severe pain in my right thigh muscle. it is quite pronounced. Together these symptoms seem like ARS, is that a fair diagnosis. I know I need to wait until the three month mark, but I dont know if I can last that long. Any words of wisdom or advice would be appreciated. I had fun and want to try it again, but am scared. Please advise. Thank you also for your efforts I made a donation on your website. Thank you, Worried Newbie.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Married Guy (aka Worried Newbie),

Yep, your questions are indeed QTND (questions that never die) and your fears are similar to those of other married guys expanding their horizons (or, more accurately, finally accepting their innate sexual orientation) by experiencing man-on-man sex. So if you want detailed answers or lengthy paragraphs of reassurance, you should indeed check the archives. I'll be brief here in responding to your concerns:

1. Oral sex carries a very low risk for HIV acquisition.

2. The risk of HIV transmission from pre-cum transferred by hand to condom to mouth is so remote it becomes essentially nonexistent.

3. The same applies to your towel concerns.

4. Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in determining who is and is not HIV infected. Your symptoms are not suggestive of or worrisome for HIV ARS.

My advice would be for you to read the archives. Yes, all of them. Your fears are completely unwarranted. They may be amplified by the guilt associated with having man-on-man action as well as cheating on your wife! Counseling would definitely help. I'd also advise leveling with your wife. It's not only the best way to confront your guilt; it's also the right thing to do.

HIV is not your problem. Fear of HIV and guilt are. You played safe and for that you are to be commended. Now you must take the next steps: (1) confront your fears, (2) accept your sexual orientation and deal with the consequences, and (3) continue to play safe to stay safe.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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