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desparately seeking guidance from Canada donation on its way
Aug 22, 2008

Hello Dr Bob, and thank you for the good work that you do-A year ago or so I made a huge mistake and visited a CSW - we had a quick episode of vaginal I/C only- she provided a condom and it did not break that I could see- I had broken up with my girlfriend at the time but we got back together- at first I did not worry as I used a condom- but as you know your mind and worries start to get the best of you and I am now consumed with guilt and am ashamed of what i did- not to mention anxiety that i might infect my girlfriend-I did not get any flu symptoms following this incident- just a cold and sinus infection a couple of weeks later- 5 monts later i had a small rash on my back which went away with cream- now I am having pimples popping up on my back from time to time and then going away and reappearing- I am worried that this is a sign that my immune system is compromised- I am over 40 and have not had this problem before- I am hoping that it is just the stress of this and not something serious- I am planning on getting tested to put this behind me- but are my symptoms indicative of HIV? I have also had burning and stinging sensations on my back from time to time but the local STD clinic says this is not related to HIV or any other STD- thanks again for your good work- cheque is in the mail>>

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Canadian Guy,

Protected sex is indeed protected. If the latex condom was used properly and did not break, your HIV-acquisition risk would have been essentially nonexistent.

Your symptoms are not worrisome for or suggestive of acute retroviral syndrome (ARS). You identified your problem accurately when you wrote ". . . I am now consumed with guilt and am ashamed of what I did . . . ." BINGO! There's your problem. It's psychological, not virologic. Your HIV test will undoubtedly be negative. If your guilt and anxiety persist, even after you test HIV negative (yes you will indeed test negative), then you should consider leveling with your girlfriend. It's the best way to confront your guilt. You could also consider counseling to help you get over these unwarranted fears.

I'm confident all will turn out well (including you!).

Thanks for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated.

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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