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In dire need, plz talk to me. There is no one else.
Jun 9, 2008

Hello Dr. Frascino, let me start off by saying you (even though I don't know you) are one of my heroes, right up there with Oprah. Like a light in a dark tunnel. I am writing because I am scared out of my mind. So instead of doing anything stupid I decided to take a chance and talk to you. Me, 31yr male living in NYC and recently had some risky behavior with a partner of mine who swears he isn't positive. He always tries to initiate unprotected sex with me (why do people do that),me always topping him the bottom. I have caved in before and penetrated him only to have my senses regained and pull out. Never an ejaculation, nor any blood that I saw. But, heres the biggie..weeks after our last encounter I developed diarrhea, headache,flu like symptoms and a rash that was dark (resembling a bruise, with little cluster bumps) along my collar bone. About after two weeks of going crazy and crying myself to sleep at night I went to go get tested. The oral quick test..it was probably about a month and a half after the exposure. It came back negative. But i can't shake the feeling that I am poz. My symptoms were so concrete and the rash though fading is still there. Very small but nontheless terrifying. My question is, how long should I wait before getting tested before I consider myself in the clear. Or are my symptoms so concrete that I should just silently tell myself to adjust, and man up to what I and I alone stupidly chose to risk? And to think I had made it this far. Thank you for your time and may GOD bless you and everyone up on here.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi there Guy-In-Dire-Need,

Me right up there with Oprah??? Wow! I'm flattered! And Oprah and I both support Obama too!

So on to your questions:

1. Why do guys always try to initiate unprotected sex with you??? Hmm . . . maybe because you're hung like a porn star and your name is Mr. Hottie McFastpants?

2. Feeling that you are poz and actually being poz are two extremely different things. Take a read through the archives and you'll meet loads of others who not only felt they were poz, but were 110% sure they were poz. All of these folks eventually turned out to be freaked-out neggies. Your negative HIV test out to six weeks is extremely encouraging, but not yet definitive. You'll have to wait for the three-month mark for that.

3. Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. Stop focusing on "concrete symptoms." There is no such thing when it comes to HIV! The rash you describe is not even consistent with HIV ARS rash. Focus only on your exposure risk. Your risk is reasonably low (minimal unprotected insertive anal sex) with a partner of unknown HIV serostatus. This degree of risk definitely warrants HIV testing, but does not warrant your degree of terror and anxiety.

4. Should you silently tell yourself to adjust to being HIV positive??? No, of course not! Silly boy! Don't be such a drama queen! What you do need to do is learn how to say no when your horned-up buddies want to take an unprotected ride on your pocket-rocket. Chances are you've learned this lesson by now, having had to endure the stress of the window period. I'm hopeful that this episode will all turn out well, that you will continue to test negative (I suspect you will), that you will learn an important and potentially life-saving lesson and that you will wind up on Oprah's show sharing your newfound insights.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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