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Terrified
Sep 3, 2008

First let me say your attitude is amazing, I love your sense of humor, and you're doing incredible work...keep it up!

So here's my deal: straight female had unprotected anal and vaginal sex once in Sept 07 w/a straight, non-IV drug using white male. He has told me recently that he tested neg for HIV within the last 2 months, but obviously people can lie. I am going Friday for rapid-testing b/c I am freaking out. The reason? For the last month or so, my neck glands have felt swollen and I feel a low-grade level of malaise...fevers that "come and go" in the 99-degree range, a bit of fatigue, etc. My doctor said my glands were not swollen, but there is a lot of pain and pressure in my neck and jawline, so I don't know. I had a physical beginning of August and everything checked out fine(WBC/RBC, etc), however the physical didn't include an HIV test. I am finally working up the nerve to do it this week, but in the meantime, would I be having symptoms this soon (less than a year after possible exposure)? I had no ARS-type episode, but of course that means nothing. This has been the worst month of my life. No sex in the world is worth this much grief. Thanks so much for your help.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Terrified,

No doubt unprotected sex places you at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV. Consequently, testing is warranted. However, freaking out over "symptoms" is not! Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. Besides, 99 degrees is not a significant fever and if your doctor examined you and advised you your lymph glands are not swollen, you should believe him! After all, he did spend all that time and money going to medical school, right?

Regarding sex not being worth the grief, remember that only pertains to unprotected sex!

I suggest you turn off the computer and go get a rapid HIV test. You'll have a definitive result in as few as 20 minutes. The statistical odds are astronomically in your favor that you did not contract HIV from your Sept. '07 front-door/back-door horizontal mattress-mambo.

Good luck. I'll await your WOO-HOO post, OK?

Dr. Bob



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