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risk and promised to donate
Nov 20, 2009

Dear Dr Bob; I am devastated and frightened. About 7 weeks ago I notice two pimple like things on the base of my penis where condoms dont cover. Its not really painful. Went to the doctor and she thought I recently contracted herpes. I have been seeing only one girl for the past 7 months. I called the clinic to get the result but the machine told me to leave my number I did not so I have not got my result back. My concern is HIV, I had sex with my girlfriend for about 20 times this 7 months and each time it last about 30 to 60 minutes with protection all the time. About 3-4 months ago one time the condom kind of slipped but most to the penis still covered. I never got symptoms of ARS but since 7 weeks ago my mouth and lips seems irritated, its like the feeling when you drank soup that is too hot. Also a week ago I got another one of the pimple like thing on the base of my penis on a hair follicle, this time its smaller and was not painful I barely noticed it. It went away in a few days. I had sex with another girl about 2 years ago and I had sex with her exactly four times and each time was protected. Again I did not get ARS symptoms. I did get flu like symptoms about 11 weeks after I had sex with her though. I am pretty sure that was the flu because my dad had the same symptoms a few days after I began to get sick. We live together. My current girlfriend went to get tested after I told her about the herpes thing and she said she got tested for SIDA and everything and she is fine. I have not seen her paper works, we have a hard time communicating because she speaks very little English and I dont speak a lot of Spanish. I think she is telling the truth about the SIDA part but I am not sure what she meant by everything. I used condom every time I had sex. I got tested for HIV 3 years ago and it was negative. I got tested for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Syphilis about 3-4 months ago and all negative. I am really concern if I contracted herpes from one of these two girls then I could also contracted HIV from them. I am a statistician I have read many reports on HIV and STDs. I thought that if I use condoms every time then I would not have to worry about HIV and most of the STDs. I know that you can still get herpes and warts even if you use condoms but given my history that probability seems to be small. My girlfriend is having a rash on her chest, back, part of her neck for the last 2 weeks, started about 4 weeks after we last had sex. It gets better and then it gets worst. No fever, no sore throat, no headache, no swollen lymph nodes etc. I took her to the doctor and he gave her some allergy medicine and she said she is better now but I have not seen her in a few days. I plan to go to the clinic for my herpes results and get an HIV test next week but I am petrified. Please asses my situation and give comments. I dont want to get HIV and I certainly dont want to give HIV to someone else and thats why I use protection all the time. I went to the dentist to clean my teeth about 81/2 weeks ago, how safe is dental work with regard to HIV?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Herpes, if that's what you have, is much easier to contract than HIV. It only requires skin-to-skin contact. It would be extremely unlikely that you contracted HIV if indeed you always practiced safer sexual techniques and properly used a latex or polyurethane condom for all penetrative sex.

"Symptoms" are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. Your particular symptoms and time course are not consistent with HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS).

Dental work is not considered a risk for HIV transmission/acquisition, assuming appropriate "universal precautions" are taken. These recommendations have been in place for several decades. All patients in all health care settings are treated with the same universal precautions, because we have no way of knowing if someone is "positively charged" or not. One fifth of the over 1,000,000 HIV-positive Americans have absolutely no idea they are "virally enhanced!" The bottom line is don't worry about your recent dental work.

My advice is to have your penile "pimple like things" evaluated and, if needed, treated. If you continue to worry about HIV, get an HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark.

Thanks for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my good-luck karma that your definitive HIV test will be negative. I'm quite confident it indeed will be.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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