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Paranoid Republican - Back with another question
Oct 29, 2009

Dr. Bob,

I hope you are doing well. It has been a long time since I have been here--and a long time since I was a worried-well.

But (and there is always a but) I have a mild concern to which I probably already know the answer, but would love your response--besides it gives me a reason to say "hi" and thank you again for all your work!

On to the question: The only "exposure" I have had since my last negative rapid test at the SF Aids Clinic was several lap dances during which I was fully clothed and she was not. I am thinking ZERO risk right? But, in the last four months I have had two bouts of pneumonia and one of bronchitis. These are a little over a year since my last WOO HOO.

My doc mentioned that one cause could be that I was immuno-compromised and said that the most likely culprit of that is HIV. My freakish mind goes spinning off into oblivion as soon as he says that.

I know I am nuts (I am still a Republican (sort of) right?). Am I being nuts about the fear of having HIV when my only exposure since a neg test is a bunch of fully clothed lap dances? I am not a doc, but I assume there could be numerous other reasons for repeated respiratory infections, right? Other than to calm my freakish mind, is there ANY reason to get tested?

THANKS!

PR

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Paranoid Republican,

Welcome back to the forum. (Sorry to hear you're still a Republican (sort of))! Your assumption about HIV-acquisition risk from fully clothed lap dances at the local Badda Bing is absolutely correct: no risk!

Your doctor is correct to mention that immunocompromised individuals can be more likely to have significant infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis. He is also correct to consider HIV as one of several potential causes of a compromised immune system. However, if you've had a negative HIV test outside the window period and your only subsequent HIV risk has been fully clothed lap dances, then you've effectively ruled HIV out as a potential cause for a compromised immune system. So no reason to spin out of control like a crazy tea-bagger at an anti-Obama rally hosted by Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, OK? There are many potential causes of recurrent lower respiratory tract infections. Your doctor (or an infectious disease specialist) should be able to conduct the appropriate medical evaluation to identify the problem as well as check the status of your immune integrity.

I agree the only reason to get another HIV test would be to put your (unwarranted) worries to rest.

Good luck. Drop by anytime and don't forget to let us know when you formally switch your allegiance to the Democrats!

Dr. Bob



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