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It's been a while!
Jul 22, 2009

Hey Dr. Bob.. you probably don't remember me but i'm the "stupid high school kid" from.. wow it's been really long- i was about to say last year, but i think its been almost 2 years!! I met the 30-something year old guy online and was freaking out because I was 100% sure i had HIV... Well, I was 100% wrong, and you were 100% right and you were 100% supportive throughout the entire 3 month ordeal.

I don't know why, but I suddenly thought of you and wanted to say hi and I know you get this all the time- but truly and honestly- you are a life-saver and a wonderful person. Thank you for getting me through that ordeal. Because of you- I don't even think about that bad time in my life and I realize that I was being paranoid (tests don't lie).. and after I had that 3 month negative "woo-hoo" test, my symptoms "miraculously" disappeared.

Unfortunately, I'm still not "out" because of my parents and all of my friends (I know in my heart i shouldn't care what anyone else thinks but it's hard to face something like that when my parents always say things like- "When you get married to a nice girl and have kids.. blah blah" and of course everything going on in the media with gay rights and seeing how it's like a modern day civil rights movement.. I just don't understand why it's such a horrible thing to some people, it's not like a chose to be gay. I know it's sad to say- but I would do anything to be straight- but I'm not an idiot- those crazy "gay-converter preachers" aren't going to suddenly make me straight! lol

Perhaps one of these days i'll be able to be open and confident about my sexuality (probably in a year when I go off to college and won't be able to resist fooling around with those hot frat boys! lol).. so until then- Thanks for everything. I'll always be grateful to you and I wish you the best.

Hopefully I'll live long enough to see the day when Gays and Straights get along just as well as peanut-butter and jelly and HIV is considered a treatable disease :)

Kudos to you Dr bob! see ya around!

-Robbie (the previously stupid teenager, now the well-informed teenager thanks to you!)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Robbie,

Welcome back to the forum! Yes, I remember you as one of the many forum readers who were 100% convinced they were HIV infected. Every day in my inbox, I have at least five such worried wells who also "know" they are infected but have not been tested. Predictably when and if they get tested, they are amazed at their negative results. They are equally stunned that their myriad symptoms "miraculously" disappear. (We have a lot of those types of miracles around here on a very regular basis!)

As for your sexual orientation, coming out is never easy but it's always the correct thing to do. Eventually your parents and friends will come around. I predict that one day when you are settled down in a stylish loft apartment in San Francisco or Chelsea with a hottie who looks like a cross among Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake and the latest 2xist underwear model and have an adorable labradoodle named "Toto" and are the envy of all your straight friends, you'll regret your comment ". . . I would do anything to be straight." I can tell you I certainly would not! In fact I can't imagine my life being any better! I have found love, passion, commitment, purpose, contentment and happiness that most people only dream of. Plus I'm legally married to the best guy on the planet. Happily-Ever-After is indeed possible if your straight-as-a-lawn-dart or as gay as the windows at Macy's at Christmas time.

Be well. Be happy. Be who you are.

Dr. Bob

It's me again... good question Feb 9, 2008

Hello Dr.Bob, It's me, the high school kid (don't stop reading here! lol) who made the biggest mistake of his life by hooking up with creepo. I know I'm probably "wearing out my welcome" on this forum but you have really been my only source or reliable information.

The archives say that when you become infected with HIV, most individuals experience ARS and then they develope antibodies. My question is: do the symptoms of ARS go away because of the antibodies? or do they just go away and you can go weeks without antibodies?

The reason im asking is because when i recieved my 54 day post exposure rapid test (negative) i was feeling better. Does this mean i would have had detectable antibodies since my symptoms had dispersed? I just don't get when the antibodies pop up?!

Thank you Dr.Bob! I have 25 days to go until my 91 day mark (march 2). The lady at planned parenthood said that i should come back at 6 months even if that was negative. I don't want to go another 3 months worrying about this. could i be sure that im negative if a rapid test shows a negative result at three months? Well, hopefully i'll be giving you good news in 25 days!

-Billy

p.s. My favorite quote is by Muhatma Gandhi:

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world"

- I think you truly represent that change.. you are one of many fighting to bring understanding and fairness to those who are looked down upon, just becuase they are "virally enhanced". Thank you for everything that you do.. and if Gandhi was also right about Karma, well, what goes around comes around, so all the amazing work you do everyday for me and every other life you touch will some way, some how, pay off.

Thank you.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Billy,

Symptoms of ARS occur with high concentrations of HIV. Clinical recovery is accompanied by a reduction in plasma viremia, which reflects the development of a cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) response. Seroconversion (development of detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies) occurs generally after ARS symptoms have subsided. Once anti-HIV antibodies have developed, they remain.

Your negative 54-day test is encouraging, but not yet definitive.

All the questions you have asked I have previously answered. You may have to dig a bit, but the answers are posted in the archives. In fairness to others who are anxiously waiting to have their questions answered Billy, I wont' be responding to any more of yours until your three-month test results are back. Unless, of course, you come up with something I haven't already addressed. So if you submit another question and I don't reply, it's because the answer is already in the archives, OK?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Sincerely, Thank you, please read Feb 20, 2008

Hello Dr.Bob, It's me, the stupid teenager (don't stop please, I AM NOT ASKING A QUESTION) I don't need a response. I understand you need to help others, not just me. I am sorry for being so selfish these past couple months. i just need to trust that you'll read this.

I have only 2 weeks until my 3 months "conclusive" HIV test. I've never been so scared in my life (my very short 16 year life). That's the scary part.. I'm only 16, i dont want HIV. My parents arent religious psychos but their like most parents.. they want to see their son be the all american boy with the all american wife and kids. But whatever.. I just don't want HIV.

Sorry for taking up more of your time, but I just wanted to say thank you for everything. truly, i mean it, if i had your number i would call you just so you could here how sincere i am. THANK YOU. I could not have done these past 2 months and 2 weeks without your help and i am so grateful for every word of advice you gave me.

The reason I'm telling you this is because if the test comes back positive in 2 weeks im not sure i will get back on here and tell you. I'm not sure what i will do so i wanted to thank you ahead of time incase i dont get the chance later. If it is negative, i will most definetly tell you to give you the good news... but you've had your share of bad news and i don't want to let you down.

Thank you Dr.Bob, thank you so much. I'm sorry for making such a big mistake, im sorry for asking so many questions.

Thank you.

-Robby (thats my real name) billy isnt my name. I'm not ashamed anymore to say my real name.

My name is Robby, I'm a normal teenager who made a big mistake. and I'm so glad that you are here to help me Dr.Bob.

I don't know what else to say.. I wish i could say thank you more meaningful than typing this message. But you get the point, thank you.

Now go on and help some more people, it's what your best at!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Robby,

Thanks for your thanks. I'll be waiting for your WOO-HOO! In the meantime continue to peruse the archives for additional enlightenment and reassurance. I'm continuing to send you my good-luck karma that your definitive three-month test is negative. (My good-luck karma has not failed yet!!!)

Good luck! I'm here if and when you need me.

Dr. Bob

update (stupid teenager) Feb 26, 2008

Hey Dr.Bob, its me, the uneducated kid who made the uneducated mistake!

I was in a very bad mood when i sent you the thank you post because i was thinking about how screwed up my life will be if i turned out to be positive. However, i was thinking about how i didnt have a fever, my 54 day test was negative and that's "encouraging" and how it was only one exposure and not a very long exposure... so, i'm trying to stay positive for my 92 day post exposure test on monday! ughh i can't believe it's been only 92 days since i made the BIGGEST mistake of my life.. seems like this has dragged on forever!

Anyway, I'm feeling better (but my stomach still isnt right, and i don't feel good when i wake up and i have continued to lose weight) but I'm over the aweful 2 weeks that i went through three weeks after exposure where i thought i was going to die i felt so bad!!!

Since i'm feeling better, I'm actually getting really scared to get tested at three months because i know its "definitive" and is more likely to be positive than the 54 day test i took. Since finding out that im positive would completely alter my life and would lead my on a completely different path then what i've planned for my entire life, i'm actually starting to think maybe i should just live with this "in the back of my head" and not find out. Then again, I know i couldn't live with that kind of question eating away at me so im 99% sure that im going to get tested on monday, march 3, which will be 92 days after exposure.

Last question before you find out my "definitive" test:

Is 92 days truly definitive? I know you probably get this question all the time but the CDC says 97% are positive by three months.. 3 out of 100 is quite a few people! I know you say extenuating circumstances, but how do i know if i have that or not??? would a bacterial infection at the time of getting infected with HIV affect seroconversion?

Thank you Dr.Bob, Thank you so much. You'll be hearing from me in one week from today with my 3 month test results! Hopefully your good luck Karma stays strong!!!

-Robby

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Robby,

"Since finding out that I'm positive would completely alter my life and would lead me on a completely different path than what I've planned for my entire life, I'm actually starting to think maybe I should just live with this 'in the back of my head' and not find out"!!!! WHAT?????? Robby that is such a monumentally idiotic idea I would have guessed only Dubya could have dreamed it up! I'm glad you quickly came to your senses, realizing you "couldn't live with that kind of question eating away to (you)." I couldn't agree more. Just reread some of the e-mails you've sent me over the last few months. That should prove not knowing would be a colossal mistake and would surely wind up with you in a straightjacket locked in a padded cell. (Which of course is exactly where Dubya should be.)

To answer your questions: Yes, your 92-day test will be definitive. (It will also be negative.) You do not have "extenuating circumstances" and no, a bacterial infection would not affect seroconversion.

Finally, yes, my good-luck karma remains strong. I'll be waiting for (and anticipating) your WOO-HOO next week.

Dr. Bob



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