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worried dentist in madrid says thank you
Sep 23, 2009

Hello dr. Bob, i'll paste my previous post bellow so you can better remember me. I just wanted to say that i went this morning to a rapid testing site and after 2o minutes i woohooed and perhaps i woohooed too loud. I spent two years worried and if it werent because of what you told me, i wouldnt have manned up and get tested, yes! that was indeed the most profound phrase i have ever heard in my life "not knowing your HIV status doesn't change the reality of that status" Aparently im free now, but i dont think i'll ever be the same guy i used to be years ago, this experience marked me in such a way, that i think i will need to see a psychologist, i literally dream every night with antiretrovirals and reactive tests, weird isnt it? I just wanted to say thank you very much, you've changed my life and i do owe you and dr. Steve a night tour of the city and a dinner at the Balzac which is my favorite restaurant. Yupiiii!!! Muchas gracias... Javier.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Javier,

Yupiiiii!!! Excellent news!

A night tour of Madrid and dinner at Balzac??? Deal! We'll be there tomorrow night. Pick us up around 9 p.m. OK, I'm kidding. Actually we're in Montreal at the moment. The flavors here are much more French than Spanish. However, who knows? One of these days we just may wind up in your fair city!

Be well Javier! Thank you for your kind comments.

Hasta luego!

Dr. Bob

worried dentist in Madrid... Sep 3, 2009 Hello Dr. James and pardon my modest English. Im a 29 year old dentist who received a pinch in my finger while applying lidocaine to a pacient of unknown hiv status. That was two years ago and there wasnt any visible blood in the syringe or in my finger. I havent been tested in two years for three reasons: fear of a false positive, not engaged in risky activities, and fear of a confirmed positive result (i know, that hasnt been too wise, especially being a doctor). Well i was just diagnosed with pneumonia and took care of it, but according to my training, oportunistic infections generally come after 8 years of untreated hiv, or aids. I was wondering, 1)should i find someone to hold my hand for 30 minutes and get tested? 2) Is it safe to say that that pneumonia has nothing to do with hiv? Thank you very much and i love your european dishes & sausages jokes. Saludos desde Madrid... Javier

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Javier,

Your fears are unwarranted. Your reasons for not getting HIV tested are not logical.

1. Fear of a false positive. False-positive tests are relatively rare and when they do occur they are very quickly picked up by confirmatory tests, such as the Western Blot.

2. Not engaged in risky activities. Fine, this has nothing to do with evaluating your needlestick injury two years ago!

3. Fear of a confirmed positive result. Denial is not an effective or wise choice when dealing with a potentially catastrophic illness. When it comes to HIV/AIDS, what you don't know can indeed hurt you. Delayed diagnosis is the most common cause for premature HIV/AIDS mortality and increased HIV-related morbidity! Not knowing your HIV status doesn't change the reality of that status!

Responding to your specific questions:

1. Yes. Not because I'm concerned you may be HIV infected, but rather because you've been worried about this for two years! It's time to man-up and do what you know should have been done two years ago: get tested! The statistical odds are astronomically in your favor that you did not contract HIV.

2. The vast, vast, vast majority of pneumonia cases have absolutely nothing to do with HIV/AIDS.

Finally, since I have never spent much time in Madrid and would love to see the city, I'd volunteer to hold your hand for the 20-minute test. And then will go out to celebrate your negative status with a great dinner of Gazpacho and Paella as we WOO-HOO! (In Spanish, I think it's yupi!)

Good luck Javier. I'm very confident all will turn out well (including you!).

Dr. Bob



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