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UPDATE & THANKS!!
Jul 12, 2009

Dr. Frascino:

On June 19, 2009 I posted a question titled: "Extremely worried, need reassurance." I would like to thank you for your response which really helped to calm me. I went today and had a rapid hiv test performed (blood test -- 10 minutes for results) and it was negative!! It will be exactly 7 months on July 12, 2009. So after reading your response and reading other posts on this site I am assuming the test is conclusive and definitive and I have nothing to worry about now. I'm finally beginning to feel at ease and at peace. It is going to be amazing and such a relief to not stress out so much anymore. The stress really took its toll out on my body -- and not to mention throughout that time I gained around 25 pounds.... due to worry and depression from the incident that occurred 7 months ago that led to all of this worry. It is amazing the "symptoms" that stress and worry can create in your mind. But thanks again for your wonderful response and reassurance to my question posted on June 19. I am still going to take your advice and receive counseling for what happened to me - because that is nothing I will ever forget. I wish everyone else the same results that I received... NEGATIVE :) Good luck everyone, and thank you so much for this site!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Thanks for your thanks and for taking the time to write in and share your good news.

WOO-HOO!

Stay well.

Dr. Bob

Extremely worried, need reassurance Jun 19, 2009

On December 12th, 2008 I am pretty sure I was raped (it seems crazy I wouldn't even know for sure, right?)- I woke up after a night out at a bar to find someone naked on top of me who I immediately pushed off and asked what happened and all he said was I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I have no idea who this person was, and ever since then I have been extremely worried and stressed about the idea that I may have contracted something. I immediately went to Planned Parenthood and had a test which came back negative - then went back around a month and a half later and took another test that was negative. Then took another test at 3 months that was negative. Now I am patiently awaiting the 6 month mark to take another rapid test because I have heard from various sources that a test is never completely accurate until the 6 month mark. I also had a complete STD check done (Chlamydia, etc...) and everything came back negative, although before the results came back the person performing the tests said that she was "sure" I had contracted something. Which had me even more worried. I've been freaking out constantly checking my lymph nodes and checking for rashes. I think my lymph nodes in my neck have been swollen but I do not know how to tell exactly - but I also had been having problems with my wisdom teeth and recently had all 4 removed. My underarms have felt sore - but I do not know if the lymph nodes are swollen. How could you tell if the armpit nodes were swollen? Additionally, I've had what feels like ulcers or sores in my mouth at different times. Mainly my question is how definitive is a 3 month test? Ever since waking up that morning I have been a terrible mess, constantly worrying, and constantly crying and thinking I may have contracted HIV. I am now running a low grade fever of 98.2 (I normally have a temp of 96.5 - 97.5). It seems like everything that is happening is pointing towards hiv symptoms. Shortly after it happened (days) I had a slight fever and sore throat, and also really bad neck pain. The neck pain persisted for quite some time. Please advise me of your opinion regarding all of this... I would really appreciate any information you may have.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read this post, and thank you in advance for whatever answers you may have.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Your three-month negative HIV-antibody test is conclusive and definitive.

I have no idea why "the person performing the tests said she was sure (you) had contracted something!" She should be fired (or at least severely reprimanded) for such inappropriate comments. All of your STD tests, including your three-month HIV test, have been negative. Trust your test results, not the clueless lab-technician.

Stop trying to self-examine yourself for swollen lymph nodes and other symptoms. You have absolutely no idea what you are searching for and you're just driving yourself nuts.

You report "ever since that morning (you) have been a terrible mess, constantly worrying and constantly crying and thinking (you) may have contracted HIV." Your problem is anxiety and fear of HIV, not HIV itself. I urge you to seek counseling (psychotherapy) to help you cope with the psychological trauma and anxiety associated with your blackout at the bar and waking up with Mr. Naked on top of you the next morning. Your general medicine physician should be able to recommend someone for you to talk with.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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