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Sep 30, 2009

Hello Dr. Bob,

I did the stupidest thing in my life and had unprotected sex with someone I later found out was HIV+. Of course I panicked and started believing I had every symptom caused by HIV infection. I tested with Chemiluminescent method (which I believe is the same as 4th generation ELISA, am I right?) at 3, 4 and 6 months and they were all negative. I know that the ELISA test at 6 months is still the gold standard for HIV testing but I'm still worried I might be one of the unlucky people who seroconvert after 6 months. Should I still be worried about anything (sometimes I have a skin rash in my face which is itchy and I have been experiencing pain in my groin, armpit and neck, but there is no swelling in the nodes) or can I move on with my life?? That's the only thing I want to do and I can honestly say that I've learned my lesson REEEALLY well and I'll definitely never have unprotected sex again ( in fact, I've been feeling so bad I do know when will I be able to have sex without thinking of HIV again). PLEASE DR. BOB, help me out! Donation to your foundation will be given. Thanks so much

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your problem was not having sex, but rather it was having "unprotected" sex! That violates Dr. Bob's #1 rule: We must consider that all our sexual partners could be HIV infected and consequently take all the necessary precautions to prevent transmission of the virus. Had you followed this simple (well, at least reasonable, of not simple) rule, you would not have to panic should you find out after the fact that one of your horizontal mattress mambo mates turns out to be positively charged.

Luckily, despite your lapse in judgment, no harm was done. Your repeatedly negative chemiluminescent tests out to six months are definitive, conclusive and WOO-HOO-able! HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. No further HIV-related tests are warranted. The chemiluminescence test is as accurate and reliable as the ELISA 4th generation assays. Your fears about seroconverting beyond six months are completely unwarranted.

Should you move on with your life with complete confidence that you dodged the HIV bullet? Absofrickinlutely. You need to stop worrying and immediately start WOO-HOO-ing like a banshee in heat, OK?

Thank you for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation ( It's urgently needed and warmly appreciated. I'm sending you my good-luck/good-health karma in return.

Be well. Stay well. (Yes, you are indeed well!)

Dr. Bob

Risk of HIV transmission?- please answer I will donate
Irrational fears

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