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freaking out

Mar 28, 2010

Dr. Bob,

Your website is really amazing!

As mentioned above, I am freaking out. Almost 6 yrs ago i got oral sex from a sex worker in SF. Although i really freaked out, I talked myself out of getting tested based on the general consesus that insertive oral sex is very low risk and that there are no documented cases...

Since then, I got pnemonia 2 yrs ago. it was caught early and went away with antibiotics in about 7-10 days. Since then not really sick. Recently however i have been sick on and off for about 1 month. Got a sinus infection/brochitis which was treated with antibiotics for 1 week. Was feeling much better but about a week later chills, achiness and some night sweats have returned. obviously my tremendous anxiety is killing me. Can't sleep and cant really think about anything else.

I was tested last week and am awaiting the results. However i really cant relax. Have wife and 3 kids. any words of wisdom so that I may chill the f out??


Response from Dr. Frascino


Well, assuming you don't have a ready supply of valium, there are other ways to chill. Yoga works well; watching tea-party lunatics hijack the GOP is always amusing; however, perhaps the best thing is just to reread your post. In it you write: ". . . the general consensus is that insertive oral sex is very low risk . . . ." I agree. Add to that the fact that "symptoms" are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. An episode of pneumonia two years ago that responded to antibiotics and a more recent bout of sino-bronchitis are not at all consistent with or suggestive of HIV/AIDS. I absolutely agree your problem is "tremendous anxiety." The odds are astronomically on your side that you did not contract HIV from your walk on the wild side with the SF hooker.

My advice is simple:

1. Relax Max! Your risk was exceedingly low and your symptoms are not at all worrisome for HIV.

2. Level with your wife if you haven't already done so. It's the best way to confront guilt and it's also the right thing to do.

3. If you tested last week, the results should be available by now. (Also, rapid tests are available, which provide results in as few as 20 minutes.)

Good luck. I'm confident all will turn out "well," including you. Write back and we'll WOO-HOO together, OK?

Dr. Bob

Why can't I just be French?

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