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Staph Infection? HIV? Help?
Jun 12, 2008

I tend to send you these things every few months or so with hopes that one day you'll go ahead and reassure me that I can Woo-Hoo and move on with my life without dissecting each and every bump and cough I have, even though I've probably already read it in the archives.

I'm not upset at all about not being responded to. There are hundreds more like me sending you questions every day. But I am persistent! :-)

Several years ago...6ish, I believe, I had unprotected vaginal intercourse with a man who was a paramedic.

Several years went by and one day - out of the blue - I became convinced I had acquired HIV from him. Thus began the checking for swollen nodes, taking my temp every hour, crying myself to sleep, etc.

Finally, after a good year of worrying, I had an OraQuick test done at an AIDs outreach center. 20 minutes later I found out I was negative.

That reassured me for a while until I became convinced their was an error in the test. Had I swabbed my gums too much? Not enough?

I was able to reassure myself from the archives that I was fine. Still, I had lingering doubts occasionally when I would get a cold or bronchitis. I was SURE I had AIDS last year when I got pneumonia.

I've been fine up until now when I somehow developed a staph infection under the skin and in the tissue in my leg. The ER doc said it was possibly from a spider bite and put me on strong antibiotics.

I go home, satisfied with his answer, but Google "staph infections" to see what more I can learn and what do I find?

Yep, dozens of websites saying that persons with HIV/AIDS tend to get staph infections more than the regular Joe. (Or Jane, in my case.)

And now I have a cough again. I'm sure you can see where this has led me back to.

Your bluntness and wit have amused me in the years I've visited this forum. If you could possibly use that now to tell me I can Woo-Hoo, stop harassing you, and perhaps even see a shrink, I would greatly appreciate it!

If not, I'll get over this one and plug along until next year or so when something bothers me and I'll send you another e-mail hoping to get a woo-hoo. :-)

Thank you for all that you do. I'm not sure if you read all of these, but I hope you know how much you are admired by me and the others you help.

Have a wonderful day!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

First of all, yes, I really do read all the posts!

Next, HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. "Fear of being HIV infected" is your problem. You need to stop perseverating on a viral infection that you do not have and begin focusing on your very real "irrational fear" problems. So let's try this. Let's role play a scene from "Moonstruck." You'll be Nicholas Cage and I'll be Cher. I then bitch-slap you across the face while yelling "snap out of it!!!" Did that do the trick? If not, then yep, it's time to see the shrink.

Be well. Stay well. Remember, HIV is not your problem, OK?

Dr. Bob



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