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Wooohoooooo! give my three months back! :)
Feb 7, 2009

Hi, Dr. Frascino

I posted a worried message back in November titled under "Protected sex but feeling unstable". Yesterday was my three months mark since exposure and with extreme guilt and anxiety I was on my way to my urologist's office to get tested. Guess what....I GOT TESTED NEGATIVE!!!!!!! Basically I had every symptoms listed. (since exposure D-3: I had extreme muscle ache throughout my body as if I was being poked by a sharp needle. It lasted more than a month. D-7: I had really bad diaharrea for 2 weeks Week-3: I had night sweat for 5 days. Also I found an area with few red(not raised) small dots that disappear in a day on my arm and chest. Week 7: I had a real bad flu going on for a week(mild fever and cough) Week 9~10: I had raised few red bumps all over my leg, in few days they became scabs. That's when I freaked out. Week 12: Met my urologist and got tested. The result was NEGATIVE!

I used condom but somehow I was agonizing so much over what I did on that day I had sex with a sex worker. I greatly appreciate what you told me ("the test will be undoubtly negative")in a previous message which really really kept me alive mentally. Those symptoms I had were not caused by HIV+ but rather it seems more related to psychosomatic syndrome. I give you a standing ovation for being a true hero giving every worried people a hope. I feel like I am born again. Life is not something you cannot just waste. IF possible, I learn a hard way that abstinence is the BEST way to avoid.

P.S. I want to donate to your foundation but I live in Korea. Plz kindly tell me a payment method.

Response from Dr. Frascino

1. hello,

WOO-HOO and congratulations! Thank you for taking the time to write back and share your story and great news!

I should point out that you write: "Guess what . . . I GOT TESTED NEGATIVE!!!!!!" As you will recall, I did actually "guess what" when I advised you that your test would undoubtedly be negative. (See below.) Your testimonial corroborates several themes that I frequently mention in this forum: (1) "Protected sex is indeed protected, assuming the latex condom is used properly and does not fail" and (2) "Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected." By the way, your very common and non-diagnostic symptom complex spread over a period of 10 weeks was not consistent with or worrisome for HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS).

Thank you for your desire to make a donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. Donation information can be found on the foundation's Web site, www.concertedeffort.org. The foundation warmly accepts all forms of donations: PayPal, credit card, cashier's check, cash, direct wire-to-wire transfer, appreciated stock and securities, oil fields, diamond mines, old spaceships, you name it!

Finally, I absolutely agree with your newfound insight: Life is not something to waste!

Abstinence is indeed one way to avoid STDs, including HIV; however, abstinence is not something most people can adhere to without going totally insane. Consequently, as your testimonial once again proves, safer sexual practices, including latex (or polyurethane) condom for penetrative sex, are a very viable alternative for staying healthy.

Be safe. Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob

Protected sex but feeling unstable Dec 8, 2008

Hi, Dr.

I am having a really crazy anxiety even if I used a condom.

I was in China for a 2 weeks business trip and had protected sex with a chinese sex worker. I was a little drunken at the time but remember I had condom on when I had vaginal sex. I was not able to ejaculate with condom on so I don't know if the condom was broken or not. I washed up my penis and then took another new condom and had vaginal sex. I wasn't able to ejacualte again. So she was performing oral on me after taking off the condom while I was only doing fingering on vagina. I didn't find any wounds or cut in my skin. I wasn't able to ejaculate again. After 3 days, I was having a minor ache around my penis but the next day the ache was gone but had muscle ache in my body, especially leg areas.(still having it these days, lasts more than 2 weeks) I was so freaked out when I found out the muscle ache is the one of the symptoms of ARS. A week after the event, I don't know if food or water in china was bad, I was having diaharrea on that day. About 2 weeks after, I don't know if I had this rash-like little spots on my skin, but still not going away these days. And recently I am having minor night sweats, but no fever. I am having too much stress right now and do you think these are serious symptoms?

I will absolutely donate to your center. Thanks, Doc.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You freaked out when you found out "muscle ache is one of the symptoms of ARS?" Hmm . . . headache is one of the symptoms of terminal brain cancer. Do you freak out every time you get a headache? Cough is a symptom of lung cancer. Do you freak out every time you cough? You report: "I am having too much stress right now . . . I'm having a really crazy anxiety even if I used a condom." I absolutely agree! Your problems are stress, anxiety and irrational fears of being HIV infected. Condom-protected sex is indeed protected, assuming the latex (or polyurethane) condoms are used properly and do not fail (break).

If you remain worried (and clearly you are), get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. The result will undoubtedly be negative. However, if by taking the test you can put all your residual fears permanently to rest, the psychological benefit will be worth the effort.

Good luck. Happy Holidays.

Dr. Bob



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