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HIV....Symtoms....
Jun 2, 2008

Hi, im a 31 yo guy, ive had a stable relationship with my girlfriend for almost 3 1/2 years now...we practice non-protected sex together since we have an agreement to be faithful...Anyway, I cheated on her with some girls. I had sex with vaginal penetration with 5 woman (the last one being 1-2 years ago, cant remember),for ALL 5, I wore a condom and to my knowledge none of them broke. I also received fellatio from these 5 and 2 other woman, the fellatio was not protected though...I only saw each woman ONCE. One thing id mention is, that i shave my pubis and testicles which i feel by making small micro scars, could have left my skin more vulnerable to infection, it is something i didnt realise then and dont do anymore....

Now, in the last 6 months ive been experiencing weird symptoms that are really driving my head crazy to the point of quasi-depression.

Before i list them, id like to add that i work night time, my sleep in the last 6-9 months has not been good since i moved and the new room where i sleep doesnt seem to allow me to sleep as well as before. Ive had many sleepless days where i would rock from one side to the next or some other days where my fault where i would go to sleep too late and fuck up my sleep schedule (anyway, working nights and sleeping days has always been hard on me) also, in the last 9 months ive been very inactive, mostly staying indoors watching movies or playing on the PC, only time i ever go out or be active is to go work (i work as a dealer in a casino and so bacteria and germ presence is very high, its a job i hate and explains a bit my kinda depressive and passive mood of late). I used to train at the gym very intensively and tan at the salon ( I never took any IV drugs ill mention or any drugs at all to be honest) but i stopped that about a year ago (after training and tanning fr about 2-3 years)...Can those last things i mentionned cause a drop in the immune system perhaps... Now the symptoms, I got the flu, or flu like symptoms at least fever mainly about 3 times from december 2007 to april 2008, fever lasted about 5-6 days each time. I have a nasal deviation and used to have about 3 sinusitis a year yet i havent had any in a long time id mention though. Also, ive really seen an increase in the lip herpes outbreaks in the last 6 months. i used to have around 3 outbreaks a year,but ive had at least 7-8 outbreaks in the last 6 months...including 4 in the last 4-5 weeks....Now ill admit ive been stressing a lot about this....Next, ill mention i might have 1 swollen lymph node under the jaw, im not sure if it is swollen or not because its not really painful, it just seems maybe bigger than the other one, but its hard to tell. Then, ill mention ive seen an increase in the outbreak of hemangionomas (they look like very very small round red dots, i was freaking out about leukemia last year and had a doctor look at them and he told me thats what they were.), anyway i dont know if that last thing is related to anything..Finally, id mention ive had more nose bleeds i never had any until they sarted a year ago), usually very soon after waking up or in the shower right after waking up, although, i have some a couple days in a row and then no more for a while.

Ive been very very concerned about this, HIV would be the end of the world for me, i deeply regret my unfaithfulness even though as a small comfort i used a condom fr each sex intercourse and am now been faithful for a good while. Im freaking out so much that i take my temperature about 10 times a day to see if i have fever, check my neck and armpits all the time, im really going nuts... Ive called an STD specialised clinic here and they gave me an apointment fr a complete STD check up, im so anxious for it to get rid of this psycho burden...Ive had to wait almost 3 months for an appointment because im straight and u can only get a fast appointment there if you are gay...If im negative (please GOD oh please) I also plan on doing a complete health check up to see if all is ok and to have my brain fixed by a psy about this illness fear i seem to have now. Through this panic ive actually grown though, ive realised how badly it would be if i were diagnosed positive (well for starters i would just refuse to live like that simply) but what i mean is if i can get through this ok, the things ill do so i can be more certain to be ok, like avoiding to shave my pubis, etc. To realise how life is precious and fragile...Ive sworn to myself to tell my girlfriend of that cheating even though itll probably end our relationship...To realise this may be a second chance at life and to move on...

I know youll probably tell me that symptoms are not a sure way to determine HIV status or that penile-vaginal HIV infection is 5/10000 chance less the fact I was wearing a condom each time and the uncertain status of these partners, or that oral infection is very unlikely but, since i cannot talk about this to anyone, maybe this was just a way of talking in a way...Thanx for reading me and ill appreciate any words of wisdom youll want to offer.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I must admit when I first started to read your post, ". . . I've had a stable relationship with my girlfriend for 3 years . . . we practice non-protected sex together since we have an agreement to be faithful . . . anyway I cheated on her with some girls . . . ," I thought: Here we go again. I was initially planning on blasting you while reminding all our readers to be wary that these types of "agreements" may not be foolproof (and there are many fools out there!), so everyone should always protect themselves to stay healthy. (The old adage about an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure has never been so true. An ounce of latex is far better than a pound of antiretrovirals!) However, after reading your entire post, I felt sorry for your torment and I was pleased to see you plan on leveling with your girlfriend as well as getting your "brain fixed by a psy." In addition, you've obviously been reading the archives, as you quoted the correct estimated statistical risk for unprotected penile-vaginal insertive sex with a partner known to be HIV positive, noting that your estimated risk statistic would be less, because you wore a condom and your partner's HIV status was unknown. Gosh, in many ways you answered your own question! Posts like yours could put me out of business (which would be fine by me, by the way!).

OK, perhaps I can add a bit of reassurance. First off, protected sex is indeed protected, assuming the latex condom was used properly and did not fail (break). But you already knew that too, didn't you, Mr. Smarty Pants? Of course you did!!!

I feel you have accurately diagnosed your real problem: "quasi-depression'" although I might quibble with the "quasi" part. Your fatigue may be related to depression, lack of sleep and deconditioning due to lack of activity. Your "symptoms" are not at all worrisome for or suggestive of HIV ARS (acute retroviral syndrome) or HIV disease.

I was amused to read that you feel you could only get a fast appointment for an STD checkup if you were gay!?!?! Tell me more. How does the scheduler know your sexual orientation??? At any rate, reverse discrimination is always somewhat enlightening, isn't it? I'm quite confident your HIV test will be negative and I applaud your efforts to get a complete checkup as well as address your depression issues. In addition it's time you got your butt back to the gym. After all, exercise has many health benefits, not to mention the fact it makes us look better naked!

Hey, I've got an idea. I'll help you through your medical issues if you give me some tips on blackjack or craps or whatever you do at the casino. I have to go to Vegas soon and I wouldn't mind winning a few bucks to replace my aging laptop, which is acting up as I type this response!

Now, in addition to my recommendations above, I also urge you to immediately stop poking at your neck and pits! And take that silly thermometer out of your mouth too. Do you have any idea how strange this looks to those sitting at your table trying to decide whether to double down?

I'm here if you need me, OK? Now go ahead. Get tested and be ready to yell WOO-HOO. (You can tell the scheduler you're gay if it helps get your appointment moved up, OK? In fact, just tell her that Dr. Bob sent you! That should do the trick!)

Dr. Bob



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