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My follow-up for the worry wells
Sep 19, 2009

Doctor,

Last time I wrote, I was a scared mess - I was drunk and made a poor decision one night in March having completely unprotected vaginal intercourse 3x in one night with a girl i didn't even know. I did remember asking her if she had any protection to which she responded "Who cares, just pull out."

Now of course the next morning i began to think about my encounter and wonder how many guys she may have said that to in the past. Then I started to worry. Then came the symptoms which of course i googled/ web/md. Then came even worse symptoms. Yes in that exact order.

I had night sweats, a running fever of 101, the chills, diarrhea skin rashes and fatigue which all fit the mold for ARS. It couldnt have been the flu (even though it was flu season) and it couldnt have been psychosomatic - I was convinced that i had just paid the ultimate price for one night of fun all because i didnt have the sense to say no to unprotected sex or at the very least run out and by some condoms.

Fast forward 6 months - I literally just got off the phone with my doctor (I was shaking the entire time) with the blood results and and here I am HIV negative!!! WOO-HOO!!!

I know its hard to get tested when you've all but convinced yourself that you are HIV + with every coincidental symptom in the book. But remember that they are just that - symptoms that are non-specific. Please do it. And do what you need to do to go through with it. I had to take the day off from work today so i could be alone and get up enough nerve to call the doc for the results. But its done and now i feel fantastic.

For the past six months, my health, personal life, work and bank account have taken a massive hit (the bars doc) all because i worried constantly about my status and didn't have the balls to get myself tested back in June as was warranted. This could have all been avoided.

All in all, this experience has taught me 3 things:

1. Always carry condoms when going out - hell maybe even to the supermarket if you think the produce aisle will get you some action. Sometimes booze and lack of judgment will put you in a compromising position, but you can know that you are armed with adequate protection against HIV and other STD's

2. HIV is a chronic disease that many live with and need help and support just as much any one you know living and fighting with cancer, diabetes and other chronic conditions. The faster we can get rid of any stigma still associated with it, the better.

3. Protect your health. You cant do much without it

Add my name to the list of ex-worried wells doc. And thanks to you and this forum for helping me through one of the most difficult nerve racking times i have ever experienced. I have donated before, and you can expect monthly contributions to the RJF Foundation on my behalf.e_

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

First off, WOO-de-frickin' HOO and YABBA DABBA DO! Excellent news about your negative test. Welcome to our X-Files (ex-worried wells).

Next, thanks for taking the time to write in and share your story with those still stuck in their own self-induced "worried-well hell." Testimonials, like yours, can be extremely helpful to those still paralyzed by fear.

Thank you also for your kind comments regarding those of us who cohabitate with the virus 24/7. Finally, thank you for your generous donations to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). Your gifts will touch many lives in desperate need. On behalf of those folks, please accept my heartfelt thanks.

Be well. Stay well. (I'm confident you will!)

Dr. Bob



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