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Depression, thy name is me
Aug 23, 2009

Let me start this post by addressing the morons who come to this site seeking advice; the morons with your "fingering a CSW with a paper-cut," or "dry-humping another guy," or "putting on a used condom in a bathroom while no one was watching," or "deep kissing," or "sharing a drink with an AIDS patient."

STOP POLLUTING THE THREAD-SPACE WITH YOUR RIDICULOUSLY INANE, AND UNEDUCATED NONSENSE!!!

I know the doc, and other respected members on this site would never say as such, but your idiotic ramblings have to be a burden to them, and a detriment to the community as a whole... especially to those of us who actually engaged in a moderately high risk situation (unprotected vaginal sex).

This is solely my opinion, and it does not reflect the opinions of anyone else on this site (I'm assuming).

Sorry for my mini-rant.

Okay, so on May 23rd I strayed from my girlfriend of 3 years with another woman I met at my college. I live in Orlando, FL (Orange County... apparently, judging by the HIV incidents map, a hot-bed for infection rates).

The incident began protected, and lasted as such for about 30 minutes, before it moved to being unprotected for approximately 10 minutes. Therefore, my risk is unprotected vaginal sex.

Now, onto my story, and why this will prove to be rather cathartic for me, and why I hope you will bear with me as I vent everything I'm feeling (I'll make it as brief as possible).

This female was 23 years old, well-to-do, but had a few unprotected incidents before me (so I had sex with everyone she did). She laid claim to a vigorous health checkup routine, which involved gyno visits, and doctor's appointments after each encounter... which is all well and good, except for the fact that HIV can go undetected if not tested for AFTER the window period.

And yet, even knowing all this (I had a good five year run of being a MASSIVE hypochondriac, worrying about everything from a cold to cancer... including HIV. In fact, during that time, I became what I know today as a person with Generalized Anxiety Disorder), I still engaged in unprotected sex (I guess my "other" head took over).

Unfortunately for my current girlfriend of 4 years, I, at first, didn't take the possible risk too seriously. You see, my g/f trusts and loves me with all her heart. Before we got together, we made sure that neither of us were bringing any unwanted "guests" into the relationship. So, we both waited until AFTER 3 months from our previous partners and got tested for everything under the sun. We were both negative.

I ended up having unprotected sex with her a few times before I REALLY started worrying... which leads me to where I'm at, mentally, right now: massively worried and depressed.

A couple of weeks, definitely within her window period, after the last time we had unprotected sex, we went to the beach. Before this trip, she complained of generalized weakness, and a feeling of malaise. She shrugged it off, since her mom is a nurse, and she, quite frankly, doesn't worry about her health as much I do about mine.

We get to the beach, and she sprays on some Coppertone sun-block (she's a NY Puerto Rican with dark skin). We stay out there for a while, then come home. A few days after that, the weakness is still there and now she complains of a lightly scratchy, slightly sore throat. Which then escalates to full-body, itchy HIVES. Okay, consider me freaked out.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time she's had hives... and maybe the timing of us going to the beach and her using a sun-block she'd never tried before could be factors... but not in my mind. Because, a week after that incident, she came down with a 24 hour bug (congestion, weakness, overall feeling crappy). THEN, a week and half after that, she comes down with what, I suppose could be described as, a stomach virus (weakness, fatigue, slight fever for a couple of days, nausea, vomiting [only twice], and a little congestion).

Okay, now I'm off the deep-end.

Look, the way I figure it, if I acquired the virus from my encounter, I can live with that. I will man-up and do what I must to maintain my health (even without a job or insurance). However, if my g/f acquired the virus from me, even after trusting me, and showing nothing but unconditional love to me, and never giving me a REAL reason to cheat in the first place (you can call me a scumbag, if you so choose)... then I honestly don't know what I'll do with myself (sorry, I know that comes off VERY melodramatic).

She still doesn't know how she feels about me cheating on her (I confessed, obviously). However, she knows FULL WELL how she would feel if she acquired the virus from me, and she would leave me in a heartbeat... which I wouldn't blame her in the slightest. Hell, she'll probably leave me even if she's negative, simply for the fact that I betrayed her trust... and again, I don't blame her. I'm lucky enough she stuck around for this long.

So, in summation (finally... I feel sorry for you if you got to this point) I'm in a bad place right now. Which sucks because my life is finally starting to look up for once (a possible job offer to work as a TV show writer at a local network in Jacksonville, and a possible movie deal in the works for one of my scripts [could you tell I was a writer?]).

But that would be my karma; dangling an escape from the obscurity and mediocrity that is my life, only to have it potentially eaten by fate if she leaves me. And I know my life wouldn't be over if I tested positive, I'm not THAT ignorant... but, the struggle would be hard, and the fact that I'd be going through it without her would make it unbearable (again, melodramatic, I know).

I'm nearing my 3 month mark, which is what I've been waiting for so I only have to get ONE test if it's negative, then never worry about it again (until the next time I have unprotected sex).

Please feel free to leave any questions, comments or concerns. I will respond, but will definitely report back once I get my test done. Thanks for taking precious time out of your day to read my post. I really do appreciate it.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Since you didn't actually ask a question, I'll just make a few comments:

1. I agree you are "massively worried and depressed." Should this persist, I would recommend you seek treatment. Psychotherapy (counseling) and/or antidepressants can be very helpful.

2. Your girlfriend's symptoms are not worrisome for or suggestive of HIV acute retroviral syndrome.

3. I'm glad you leveled with your girlfriend. It was the right thing to do.

4. Yes, you had a lapse in judgment, but don't be too hard on yourself. As it turns out, God gave men both a brain and a penis, but only enough blood to run one at a time.

5. Statistically the odds are all in your favor that you did not contract HIV or transmit it on to your girlfriend.

6. Couples counseling can help restore trust in your relationship going forward. I'd also suggest you show your girlfriend this post. Your love and concern for her come shining through. Hopefully she'll forgive you and give your relationship a second chance at happily-ever-after.

7. Good luck on your definitive HIV test, the job offer, the movie script (make sure it's a bit more concise than this post!) and also with your girlfriend!

Dr. Bob



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