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Thank you

Mar 17, 2010

Dearest Dr Bob the Virtuous ,

Thank you so much for your patience and compassion, and for answering the same question (re: small puncture wounds China) you have answered so many times before (obviously frustrating). I would just like you to know that your words really, really do help. I hope that my $40 donation can help someone else who has to live with what I have been worried about.

Although I am sure paranoia is part of my problem I think it is mainly ignorance. Thanks to your advice I had predominantly got over my fears until, exactly two weeks after the day of the incident, my partner suffered from headaches for week taking 1 day off work. I know symptoms arent reliable and so put this down to wisdom teeth, however now @ 3 weeks, a has sore throat, is dizzy and generally feels ill. Importantly I hadnt shared my worries which should rule out a placebo effect.

I just to make sure I was clear in my description before:

1. We were walking in a crowed area and my partner really jumped forward and yelped they felt something (looking at your forum litmus test - take a syringe..see if you yelp in pain). It seemed very unlikely an insect through the layers of clothes (unlikely would have got in them) also it was freezing. This makes me at a loss as to what other than a prick with something this could have been. Furthermore in the photo: (top red box- might have to zoom, bottom box for calibration; there is definitely some sort of puncture, I would say (though very small- a hairs breadth). My hopes lie in it not being consequential, seeming to be small and without blood.

2. Although I dont want to cause hysteria any more than you do, there has been a great deal of this type of thing happening in recent months here and there are several articles on this occurring in this country (though only one report [I can find in the censored media at least] in this city, a while ago) . Therefore I feel it is conceivable (but a paranoid person would say that, eh?!) that either this, or a fake (e.g. pin, just for scares) occurred. I wonder what else it could have been.

3. Afterwards my partner turned around and saw someone move quickly, who then walked past us saying sorry (it is conceivable that she was just surprised by my partners reaction?!)

My hopes rest on your reasoning for saying worry is unwarranted is due to this apparent puncture not being what I assume it to be (with an utter lack of any expertise whatsoever). Also, I know that there is only a 0.3% incidence through confirmed needle sticks, and the fact there is no direct evidence further reduces the chances.

I know that early diagnosis may possibly allow for early treatment of retrovirals which may improve a patients chances, and I would never forgive myself for being negligent. Obviously our sex life is suffering (non existent!) too.

Thank you so much for taking the trouble to read this, and for your valuable time. If I am paranoid is perhaps not helped by my currently studying lentiviral vectors! The positive side: At least this experience has given a hint of is what people go through who do contract HIV, and (if all-clear) I remain committed to fighting in the future through donations and very possibly a research career. If you are still of the same opinion please get us both laid again (for that alone I will instantly give you you another $40!!!) and put a poor paranoid creature out if its misery. A simple, two-word diagnosis: still paranoid will do nicely.

Much obliged and bound unto you.



Response from Dr. Frascino


Absolutely still paranoid!

Should you remain worried, despite my reassurance, get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. You can then write back and I'll add your testimonial to the gazillions of others who have experienced similar worries, but ultimately would up WOO-HOO-ing.

Thank you for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation ( It's warmly appreciated.

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

Dr. Bob

Wide Spread Pain and Neuropathy
lymphadenopathy after risky exposure = HIV

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