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Herpes and infection
Mar 14, 2009

Dr. Bob,

I wrote to you in January and have donated to your site and will donate this month as well. I want to thank you for you reply to my previous post about Seb. Derm. and all of the other post that have educated me and so many others.

I wanted to say up front that I have been scared of HIV since I was very young and I am now in my late 30s. I am starting to come to the realization that my problem may be mental and that I need to seek counseling for OCD and anxiety.

My wife just had a HIV test with routine blood work and she is negative. I was tested when we got married 13 years ago and I tested negative then. I cannot kick the connection between Seb Derm. and HIV from my mind though. I also have doctor diagnosed IBS that I have had for 5 years now which is of course IBS diarrhea. My Seb. Derm is not bad at all but of course it started 2 months after an encounter with a stripper. I have been completely honest with my wife.

I have question if you could answer for me just for reassurance.

I also have Herpes. What are the chances for a male to get HIV from a HIV infected female if the male has herpes and engages in vaganal sex? I looked in the forums and could not find such a stat. All they say is that the risk is increased. So if male female vaginal risk is like 10 in 10,000 is it doubled if you have active herpes? I have heard 1 in 5 people have herpes too.

Thank you so much.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

There is no way to estimate that type of statistical risk because herpes can vary in severity from very mild to active vesicles to healing scabs, etc. The best we can offer is to say that HIV-transmission risk is increased when there is another STD present, particularly ones that are associated with sores and blisters (like syphilis and herpes).

Since you admit you've been scared of HIV since you were "young," I agree you should seek psychological or psychiatric help for your irrational fears and obsession with HIV.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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