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Follow Up - Scared, ARS-like Symptoms After Mutual Masterbation
Jan 11, 2009

Doctor,

I hope you are having a Happy New Year. I'm in a bit of a crisis and I need your help.

On Dec. 3, I went to a bathhouse. There were a few risk incidents: 1) Sucked unknown partner for 30 seconds, don't think there was pre-cum, 2) used said partners precum as lube on raw penis, later noticed red open sore near the head and frenulum, 3) said partner fingered my anus while sucking me off, and 4) made out with a seperate guy who was biting my lips, tongue, and neck aggressively before I put an end to it.

Two weeks later, I had ARS-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, diarrhea, night chills, 16-pound weight loss).

On Day 20 after exposure, I saw an HIV specialist who ordered a viral load test (Roche COBAS Ampliprep Taqman) that came back undetectable.

Since then, my lymp nodes have gotten swollen. I saw the doctor again who refused to order anymore tests.

Is my undetectable HIV PCR RNA test (with 50ml sensitivity) really Whoo-Hoo-able? Should I find another doctor? Or do I need your good luck karma for a 3-month test?

I'm seeing a therapist to help me with the anxiety. I deeply regret going to that place.

Please respond, Doctor. I'm really scared and I'm afraid that maybe the HIV specialist is overlooking HIV-2, non B subclades, and other testing options because he wants me to come out of the closet (and I've started telling my friends who are helping through this - I'll tell my family as soon as I'm confirmed to be HIV- so they won't have to worry).

I'll send a donation to your fund, Doctor.

Please help me.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Your HIV-acquisition risk from the activities you describe are extremely low. Your negative HIV PCR RNA at day 20 is extremely encouraging and I have no reason to question your HIV specialist's opinion. He has much more information about the specifics of your particular situation than I do. Certainly the option to take a three-month HIV-antibody is open to you. The odds are astronomically in your favor the results will be negative.

My advice is to continue working with your therapist to cope with your anxiety, fears of HIV infection, sexual orientation issues and your coming out process. Remember closets are health hazards!

Your fears of missing an HIV-2, non-B subclade, etc. are unwarranted.

Thank you for your tax-deductible donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). I'm sending you my good-luck/good-health karma that you'll come out and learn to cope better with your sexual orientation, your HIV fears and that you'll remain HIV negative as an out and proud healthy gay man.

Good luck. Be well.

Dr. Bob



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