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The question I don't even say to myself aloud, I am HIV+?
Jun 3, 2009

Hi Doc Bob I've been reading this forum for a while now, and as anyone I guess, one will look through all the symptoms they read and then poke and prod at their body hoping it's not like that. I'm a 27 year old South African, when I was 20 a couple of mates of mine and myself went to a brothel in SA. While it was fun at first it has given me years of anguish. I had protected sex with her and left. Then the symptoms of this disease has been showing from time to time since then. 1. swollen glands (jaw, sideburn, in between legs) 2. Night Sweats 3. Ringing ears and clogged feelings on ears I have not lost any weight nor had diareaha nor had skin blotches.

I'm freaking out like hell, I don't know how long I can go on like this. I can't even have a proper relationship knowing that I could hurt someone. How do I get the courage, are these symptoms serious? Freaked out for years in silence. Thanks for listening, this is the first time I have spoken to anyone about this.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Why are you so worried? Protected sex is indeed "protected" assuming the latex condom was used properly and didn't break. That's why we call it "protected sex." Clever, eh?

Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. The only reason to worry or consider testing is HIV-exposure risk. Your risk was negligible at best.

The best way to get the courage to test (assuming one needs to test) is to realize that when it comes to HIV what you don't know can kill you! Delaying diagnosis treatment because someone was too afraid to get an HIV test is one of the major reasons HIVers die prematurely. Just take a read through the archives of this forum and you'll find testimonials proving that point.

Because you've been "freaked out for years in silience," I would suggest you get a single rapid HIV test. You'll have your results back in 20 short minutes. The result will undoubtedly be negative. It's the most efficient and effective way to put your (unwarranted) anxieties permanently to rest. It will also teach you that your years of freaking out were completely unnecessary and very easily avoidable! You can then give yourself a swift hard kick in the butt for being such a ninny while also yelling WOO-HOO because all your fears will have magically vanished.

Good luck. Be well. (Yes, you are indeed well.)

Dr. Bob



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