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please respond...life spiraling out of control.. what i thought was safe turned into a nightmare!
Aug 26, 2008

hi doc your website is great, im a gay male who's pretty much done nothing sexual and a super hypochondriac, i researched your whole website on everything before ever doing anything. but now i feel as though i am convinced something bad happened, because two weeks after an encounter with a guy, i came down with a high feve, and just as my fever broke and was going away, i had a strange ARS-ish rash all across my chest, abdomen, and a little on my upper thighs!!!! this has never happened in my life before, and it went away the next day and as a result i am soooo scared. i have been on every possible website about hiv asking others but everyone says symptoms dont equal infection, i acknowledge that, but the timing of my symptoms and the strangeness of them is too alarming for me. i know regardless that the stress is bad for my health, and so i do my best to stay calm because i know its best for my health, but i cant help but be scared!!

my exposure was oral sex with a guy, both giving and receiving. i was super careful making sure there was no precum, but possibly it did get in since i dont know what it even tastes like! i didnt give for long, and no ejaculate in my mouth... however, i may have had a small ( but painless, so i didnt notice it at the time) canker sore inside my mouth. i also had two dried,crusted over cold sores below my lip with some distance.. before i freaked out that maybe precum could have gotten onto it indirectly through our kissing, but i think this is a little over the top... i also have a history of chapped lips, but i dont think they were especially chapped that day, i woud have noticed... also, i had had not a small amount of alcohol that night, but not drunk at the time of exposure, my main concern is that it disabled the enzymes in my saliva... anyways doc, i am super scared right now and am thinking of the worst... please give me some comforting words, especially if you think my situation is dire.. i need all the encouragement i can get

--super super scared

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Super, Super Scared,

No, I certainly do not think your situation is dire. In fact, quite the opposite. Your HIV-acquisition risk is negligible at best. I absolutely agree with all the other advice you've already received about symptoms being totally unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected, no matter the "timing . . . or the strangeness"! You report you've "researched this whole website." Well, I think it's time for you to re-research it and pay particular attention to the chapters in the archives devoted to oral sex, symptoms and HIV sexual transmission. You should find the information and testimonials there both enlightening and encouraging.

My advice is that you stop freaking out and that you get a rapid HIV test at the three-month mark. The odds are astronomically in your favor that you did not contract HIV from this encounter, OK?

Dr. Bob



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