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It's time to be brave....
Nov 2, 2008

Hello Dr Bob, How are you?I wrote to you in a bit of a state several days ago, but now i've calmed down a little, so this message to you will hopefully be a little more comprehensible than the last!I had my first sexual relationship nearly 20 years ago, and shortly after was diagnosed with chlamydia,for which i received treatment and was given the all-clear. Several months later,whilst braiding my hair, i noticed two swollen lymph nodes behind my right ear, which remain to this day.I paid no attention to the nodes,assuming they were of no consequence. I got on with my life, and 15 years ago, met the true love of my life, we married and had two wonderful children, now 13 and 14. A few weeks back, the bottom fell out of my world when i heard a rumour that my first sexual partner had died of an aids-related illness,I froze with fear, and started reading up on hiv which is when i discovered that many hiv patients can have permanently swollen lymph nodes...i was petrified.i now look at my wonderful family, and my heart is breaking to think i may have infected my chidren in-utero, and infected my husband through intercourse....i am wracked with guilt, and i know you have every right to tell me i am being hysterical, before actually taking the test and getting a definitive answer, but imagine if i am hix +...the impact it will have on my family, the implications for my teenagers will be heartbreaking, and for my husband too....well, i have ordered a reliable oral test, which i have here in front of me, and i'm going to bite the bullet and do the test....i've already convinced myself i will be positive, but i need to know so we can get the care we need....the truth will out eventually , and i would be reckless to carry on in ignorance knowing there is a good possiblity we may be hiv +...i really need your support now, Dr Bob, your honesty would be more welcome than you could possibly know.Best wishes,Linda, UK.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Linda, UK,

You're worried about a nookie that took place two decades go??? And you are now "convinced" you are HIV positive and have infected your 13- and 14-year-old children in utero and your husband in bed. Oh my . . . where to begin? You state you know that I have every right to tell you that you are being "hysterical," because you haven't even taken an HIV test yet. I'd like to exercise that right, right now. Linda, actually I think you passed "hysterical" some time ago and have moved well into the completely bonkers category. It's amazing this post is your revised "calmed down" version. The previous one must have been delivered in a padded cell.

Take the test. The result will undoubtedly be negative and you'll then fell really, really silly about all this needless drama.

Dr. Bob



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