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Worried Warrior (Feeeling Better)
Mar 27, 2009

Dr. Bob,

Thank you for your reassurance and you are truly a very intelligent man. You read me completely, and your right guilt seems to the issue now, not an HIV infection. I thank you for you insight and candor. My marriage has been crazy over the past 5 years, 2 of which have been fighting for our freedom. I love my job and the American people, and, youre all worth it (for our sacrifices). Telling you the truth about our Army and how tired we are. Ive been on and off deployment for as long as I can remember. Ive been serving our great nation for the past 16 years and wouldnt change that for world. Im a Patriot and will never stop doing my job. But Doctor, this separation has weighed on my marriage. Ive made some mistakes and I do not think that my wife could handle this traumatic news. Im whole hearted in understanding what right needs to be however, I cannot tell her right now. We have been stressed to the breaking point. This dilemma pulls at my moral core. I just ask that you give me clear guidance that I must follow. You are right that the Dont ask, dont policy is bullshit!!! I agree fully because love shouldnt be bound by gender. (Male and female only) I respect your opinion and would like to hear from you.

Im thanking you for your help and it has pushed me back on course. I feel in my job that I have nobody to talk too. So kudos to you and your team!

Very Respectfully, WARRIOR

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Warrior,

You ask for clear guidance, but in reality I'm quite sure you already know exactly what needs to be done. My advice would be:

1. Decided if your marriage is viable and if it really is what you want for your future happiness. If not, you owe it to yourself and your wife to dissolve the marriage so that you each can seek your happily-ever-after without guilt, betrayal and dishonesty.

2. Level with your wife. The sooner the better. If you cannot tell her right now due to your imminent deployment, then tell her as soon as possible. This type of discussion doesn't get any easier as time goes on. In fact it gets more difficult.

3. If you and your wife decide you want to continue with the marriage, couples counseling may help. You also need to explore some sexual orientation issues.

Your moral core is what is at risk by not confronting this issue honestly and accepting the consequences of your actions. Don't turn your life into a "don't ask, don't tell" scenario.

I'm confident you'll do the right thing. I'm also hopeful your happily-ever-after is indeed out there waiting but first you'll need to man up and use your testicular fortitude to do the right thing. I know it won't be easy, but I have no doubt it is the right thing to do.

Good luck. I'm here if you need me.

Dr. Bob

Worried Warrior (PLEASE HELP) Mar 26, 2009

Dr. Bob,

You posts are extremely helpful and have calmed my nerves. I'm a BI married male that had an encounter with an unknown individul (He said he was tested and NEG). The contact was Oral (with a condom) insertive anal (I was the top) also with a condom. My questions are:

What is my risk of catching HIV?

Do you think I should get tested? I'm tested regularly.

My concern is that I'm getting ready to deploy for the thrid time and wont have access to a test until next year.

Thank You, Worried Warrior

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Worried Warrior,

Assuming the latex or polyurethane condom was used properly and did not fail (break), your HIV-acquisition risk would be essentially nonexistent. HIV cannot permeate intact latex. No way. No how. If despite my reassurance you remain a "worried warrior," get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. The result will undoubtedly be negative. It seems to me your fears may be related more to your clandestine gay encounters than to any real HIV-transmission risk. I would urge you to level with your wife if you haven't already done so. It's not only the best way to confront guilt; it's also the right thing to do. The only secret I would advise you keep, at least for now until the policy is revoked, would be related to the nonsensical "don't ask, don't tell" rule.

Good luck warrior. Come home safe and sound, OK? Thank you for your incredible service and sacrifice on behalf of us all.

Dr. Bob



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