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All of the symptoms - none of the risk?
Dec 8, 2008

Recently I noticed swollen and now painful lymph nodes in the neck, white tongue and pain in my tendons. The only risk factor was related to a really stupid night 3 years ago in which I shared smoking crack with someone I later discovered to be positive. I know you are busy especially given the recent world aids day (which I was shocked and dismayed at the limited media coverage) can you help? I don't know if Canadians can donate to your foundation, but I would love to support the great work you seem to be doing.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

First of all, "swollen painful lymph nodes in the neck, white tongue and pain in the tendons" hardly qualifies for your "all of the symptoms" title! Next, sharing a crack pipe with someone who is virally enhanced is not considered an HIV-transmission risk. (However, I will certainly admit smoking crack is a significant health risk for anyone foolish enough to do it!) Also, since this "stupid night" occurred three years ago and if you are concerned about HIV infection, the simple solution would be to get an HIV test. But you knew that already, didn't you? Of course you did. So to sum up, your HIV risk is so remote it becomes essentially nonexistent. Your "symptoms" are not worrisome. I do not feel an HIV test is medically warranted. However, if my reassurance is not enough for you to shake your worries (which is most likely the case), I'd suggest you get a single HIV-antibody test. The results will undoubtedly be negative, but if this puts your residual worries permanently to rest, it would be worth the time and effort psychologically.

As for Canadians donating to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation, yes, this happens very frequently. Just click the donate tab on the foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org for a list of donating options (credit card, PayPal, check, cash, bank check, direct wire transfer, etc.).

Be well. Stay well. Don't smoke crack. Happy Holidays and WOO-HOO (in advance)!

Dr. Bob



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