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Does my cat think I have HIV?: Take Three!

Feb 8, 2010

Hi Dr. Frascino,

I did follow your advice and did not get tested again, given my essentially nonexistent risk of french kissing a promiscuous guy (He did concede being intimate with someone with HIV in the past, so chances he himself is infected is high in my estimation).

However, I have be experiencing some really troubling physical ailments. Since my previous post, I have been getting some really annoying joint pain in my wrists, fingers (sometimes pins and needles from my wrist into my pinkies), ankles, knees, elbows and forearms. Also, my deltoids constantly hurt. All of this is conjoined with capricious dull pain in my neck and arm pits, near my lymph nodes.

Are any of these symptoms indicative of having HIV at all?

I just want to mention how miserable I am and cannot shake the thought that I am infected, given these symptoms.

I have not had sex with my wife since July '09, due to fear of infecting her. For us, this is a drastic change, given we had sex at least two to three times per week for 10 years! She has been querying me as to why and when I bring up what happened, she freaks out.

I am begging you once again to kick the sense back into me, if I am totally wrong/off on my conviction of being infected. I can't find much in the medical literature over the risk of becoming infected from french kissing. It's as if there is a huge hole in the literature. Either, researchers/experts are too willing to brush-off french kissing as a risk or french kissing isn't much of a risk. To err on the side of caution, I am leaning towards the former versus the latter. Please correct me if I am wrong about this.

Please be aware, I am not concerned about myself, but my wife. I don't think I could continue to live, if was infected and infected her.

Best regards,


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello again FOF (Freaked Out Francophone),

You haven't had sex with your wife since July '09??? WHAT??? Well no wonder you're so "miserable" and she's freaking out!

Dude, reread my responses to your two previous posts. My assessment hasn't changed. Your "symptoms" are not indicative of or worrisome for HIV. Your problem is psychological, not virological! Yep, it is all in your head, not your blood!

You're a bit to whacked t the moment for me to "kick the sense back into you" over the Internet. (I would need to wear combat boots and do the kicking in person.) My strong recommendation to restore your psychological well-being, your physical well-being and your marital sex life is that you seek the help of a psychiatrist. You had a nonexistent risk and you've had a negative HIV test. You really can't get any more negative than that! Your symptoms are suggestive of anxiety, not HIV. You seem unable to accept the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence of your HIV-negative status. Psychiatric intervention is unquestionably warranted to help you cope with a variety of issues, including guilt, irrational fear and perhaps your sexual orientation.

FOF, I actually do understand how miserable you feel at the moment. I do hope you'll follow my advice!

Dr. Bob

RE: Does my cat think I have HIV? Nov 13, 2009

Hi Dr. Bob,

Thanks for assessing my risk. You've "sort of" smacked some reason back into me, albeit I do harbour some fear. I just have a few follow-up questions, where knowing these answers may alleviate/eradicate the fear I hold.

1) I did mention I had an acne-type rash, which came on about 5 weeks after the incident. I failed to mention that I had a couple of reoccurring oral sores and my have had lymphadenopathy in my neck (although I'm no doctor, so I really don't know what a swollen lymph node feels like). I had no fever. Do you think I went through ARS?

2) I did have a rapid stick test 4 weeks and 5 days after the incident, which came back negative. I do know tests given before the 3 month mark are not definitive. However, did I need to test in the first place, given that my only risk was kissing a person of unknown status? Do I need further testing?

3) Given my risk, do you think it's safe for me to have unprotected sex with my wife?


Freaked Out Francophobe

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi FOF ("freaked out francophone"),

1. Nope! Not a chance!

2. Nope! and nope!

3. Yep.

Dr. Bob

Does my cat think I have HIV? Nov 2, 2009

Hi Dr. Bob.

Happy belated Halloween. BOO! Did I scare ya? Doh! I guess I shouldn't quit my day job!

In all seriousness, I'm not sure if my experience falls under the umbrella of extenuating circumstances. I need your help before I go completely insane (I might just be half-way there).

About four months ago, while extremely intoxicated, I had french kissed a highly promiscuous gay man half an hour after brushing my teeth (my gums frequently bleed while I brush). The kiss lasted for only a minute. Following the kiss, I had eaten a plate a nachos. A nacho had gotten wedged under the my gumline, which may have caused a cut.

Two to three weeks after this game of tonsil hockey, I became overwhelmed with intense fear. I scavenged the internet looking to see if I had put myself at risk and was only met with contradictory answers, which added fuel to my anxiety. Some mornings I would wake up hours before my alarm clock, enveloped with trepidation and completely sweaty.

What I find odd on some of these mornings was my cat would be perched on my chest, staring at me. Normally, my cat doesn't really give a damn about me. She's more attached to my wife, than to me. Does my cat sense that I may have caught HIV? People do say that pets can sense the well-being of their caregivers, so finding my cat on my chest staring at me during the average seroconversion timeframe scares the living bejeezus out of me.

During this timeframe, I had also experience extreme fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Not sure if my OCD was in hyperdrive or whether I may have sealed my fate with a kiss.

Five weeks after the incident, I developed what appeared to be acne all over my back, trapezius, deltoids, and some on my stomach, albeit not all had white/blackheads. Some where just little red dots. Could this be ARS related symptoms?

My wife and I want to start a family soon and I am extremely afraid that I may have screwed up our lives.

I have leveled with my wife and told her all about this incident. She's thinks I'm completely bananas, but that still doesn't arrest my fear.

A donation is forthcoming.


Freaked out Francophobe

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Freaked Out Francophobe,

Your OCD is OOC (out of control). Does your cat sense you have acquired HIV??? No. If Miss Kitty is picking up anything at all, it's just that dad is totally bonkers and she is wondering if you've been hitting the catnip a bit too hard.

Your HIV-acquisition risk is essentially nonexistent. If my reassurance is not sufficient to reason the bejesus back into you, get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. The result will undoubtedly be negative, but if that is what it takes to keep you out of a padded cell and straightjacket, it will be worth the time and effort.

Thank you for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation ( In return, I'm sending you my good-luck karma that you are and will stay HIV negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Can I get hiv this way?

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