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A state of utter desperation!
Aug 11, 2008

Dear Dr. Bob,

I fear I may have made a terrible mistake, the result of which may be comparable to a death sentence. My wife of 5 years recently went on a trip for 10 days and has yet to return. While away, I visited a "massage" parlor that offers "extra" services. I received unprotected oral sex. There was no visible signs of open soars or cuts in or on the woman's mouth though i can't help but to fear for the worst. This occurred only three days ago and I understand that getting tested now would prove futile? This is the first time I have faltered during our relationship and yet I know the news of this would be devastating to my wife, and possibly permanately damaging. However, I am terrified NOT to tell her and to resume sexual relations with her upon her return as I understand the risk of transmitting the virus to her (should I be infected) is highest during the first stage of infection. I cannot express my desperation at this time and would be eternally grateful for any advise.

Unworthy Husband.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Unworthy Husband,

"Comparable to a death sentence?" Aren't you being the tiniest bit overdramatic? Dude, you screwed up and got a blowjob from a massage parlor hooker. This is not the end of the world. Your chance of contracting HIV from such an activity is extremely low and a far cry from a death sentence. Things seem terrible for you at the moment, because you are feeling so guilty about your John Edwards' indiscretion.

My advice is simple:

1. Level with your wife. You are completely racked with guilt and this is the best way to confront that guilt. It's also the right thing to do. Strong relationships can weather these types of challenges. Honesty is your only real option.

2. Get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. I'm quite confident the results will be negative, but it may well be the most effective way to put your (unwarranted) worries permanently to rest.

3. Don't be so hard on yourself. We are all human, which means we all make mistakes, even yours truly. In fact, if you knew some of my mistakes, it would curl your hair (if you don't already have curly hair that is). The important thing is that we recognize and admit our failings, accept the consequences of our actions and learn from our mistakes. If you think it will help, show your wife this post and my response. Your remorse is palpable. Relationships are built on honesty and can actually be strengthened by confronting challenges together. You are not an unworthy husband. You are a human being who made a mistake for which he is truly sorry. That your biggest fear is potentially harming your wife demonstrates the depth of your love and commitment.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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