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Need for retest?
Jan 3, 2010

Hello Dr. Bob, this is my first time posting here and I hope you can help me.

5 years ago (mid 2004) I suspected my husband of cheating on me with an ex-girlfriend. He told me back then they only talked on the internet, but when I spoke with her, she said they had unprotected sex once and then he ended things with her. For the next 3 years after that, I agonized over every little blemish, soreness, flu-like symptom I got and finally in June 2007 I went to the Damien Center here in my home town and took a rapid HIV test. It came back negative and I told my mind to leave it alone. I entered therapy because I had just lost my father as well and I felt my world crumbling around me.

So here we are (or were as of yesterday) in 2009. In March I was diagnosed with cheilosis which the dermatologist said was either an allergic reaction or stress. Then in November I was diagnosed with anal fissures and the doctor believes it's because of constipation or IBS.

Yesterday for some reason, my husband finally "fessed" up and told me that he had in fact, had unprotected sex with his ex 5 years ago. He has not been tested to date and when I had questioned her as to her status 5 years ago, she told me she was negative at her last test 5 months prior.

My question (you're thinking finally, right?) is given the fact that I have anal fissures and cheilosis (both things that the internet says are conditions of HIV) Do you think I need to retest? My biggest fear is that when I tested, I just "got lucky" and hadn't caught anything from my husband in the 3 years since his fling. What if he is really positive? I mean, since my negative test in 2007, I have made him use condoms and there have only been a few times when he hasn't, but I never let him cum in me.

Tell me that I am still okay and that all I really need is more therapy. I have spoken with my own family doctor about this by the way, and he assures me that my husband's risk of exposure was low and that typically, people don't lie about their status. I just feel though that if you're low enough to cheat with someone who is married, you're low enough to lie about that.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I see no reason for repeating your HIV test. Your negative result in 2007 a full three years after your hubby's extracurricular activities with his ex is definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. No additional HIV testing is warranted.

Regarding symptoms, despite what you read on the Internet, the vast, vast, vast majority of cases of cheilosis and anal fissures have absolutely nothing to do with HIV/AIDS.

Per your request: You are okay from an HIV perspective, but you certainly need more therapy to help put your irrational fears to rest. You could ask your hubby to get HIV tested. Having to actually get the test may well be beneficial in reminding him unsafe sex has potentially devastating consequences. Most likely he will test negative. Seeing his negative test result may help you conquer your fears.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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