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Re: All of the symptoms - none of the risk?

Jan 9, 2009

Hi Doctor,

I'm back, I've taken your advice and have finally scheduled an appointment to get tested (still over a week away). I'm still trying to overcome the fear and finality it will bring.

I hope you wouldn't mind helping with a few more questions. My tongue issues continue and the mettalic taste is driving me crazy, in your experience would thrush come on at 3 years post exposure typically?

I know you have posted many responses saying that the lymph swelling related to hiv is generalized, I can only see swelling in my neck below my jaw - would the swelling in other parts of the body be noticeable? I have pain in the area in the back of my knee and on and off burning/pain under my arm - would these be indicative of swelling deep in the flesh?

I know I must sound like all the other worried wells, but I just feel that I might be entering my last days and am very scared.

I have made my belated donation and hope to be around to make many more contributions to you and so much more that I want to help with.

Thank you so much for being you.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Dude, it's been a whole month since your last post and here you are again, still freaked out about an illness you do not have! It's time to grow a pair, get tested, yell WOO-HOO and then feel like a dumbass for being such a doofus for the past three years!

To answer your questions:

1. No.

2. Sometimes.

3. Not necessarily.

"I know I must sound like all the other worried wells . . . ." Yep! No argument about that! I'm also extremely confident you'll sound like the other worried wells when you finally get your test results back, because you'll be yelling "WOO-HOO" like a banshee in heat.

Thanks for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. I'm looking forward to your WOO-HOO post. Don't keep me waiting! It's three years overdue already.

Dr. Bob

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


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 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

Hiv and Hip Resurfacing
Former question ( Fingering & Handjob )

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