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Worried and Wondering
Jan 20, 2009

Dr. Frascino, I really appreciate the work you do on this site. My late uncle was in the first wave of HIV/AIDs victims and we have missed him now for close to 15 years. My question is this. I am worried sick over my behaviour. I was tested for HIV 4.5 years ago for insurance purposes and everything was fine. However, since that time I have engaged in multiple encounters with commercial sex workers (escorts) - always protected - for insertive hetero intercourse. I am male. Where I have slipped is with respect to oral sex. I have not always insisted on protection here, which I know I should have. Now I have a funny dime-shaped flat lesion on my shin, purple-red, non-itchy. It blanches under finger-tip pressure and I have noticed its presence for close to 2 months now. I know it is difficult for you to diagnose online, but it has really freaked me out. Access to testing is very difficult where I am located but I hope to be tested soon. I also intend to modify my behaviour. And, I would like to donate to your foundation. Thanks for all your good work.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Your HIV risk is extremely low. Protected sex is indeed protected, assuming the latex condoms are used properly and don't break. Oral sex carries only a very small risk for HIV transmission/acquisition.

Your "funny dime-shaped flat lesion" is not indicative of or worrisome for HIV disease. You're correct: I can't diagnose most rashes over the Internet. If you want to know what that spot is, see a dermatologist. Rest assured: It is not HIV related, OK?

For future reference, if you don't have access to HIV testing locally, you could consider Home Access Express test kits. These are FDA approved home test kits. They are very accurate and you can read more about them in the archives.

Thanks for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org).

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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