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Comfort for the Worry Wells

May 5, 2010

Hi Bob,

I wanted to email you, not with a question but with some info that may be of help to all those people who are worrying themselves sick over possible ARS / HIV symptoms and how powerful the human mind can be.

Holidaying in Bangkok a few months ago, I had a massage where I was scratched in the groin area by the girl (turned out later to be ladyboy) giving the massage, and then after accepting a handjob, was licked on the scrotum which along with my groin was badly chaffed from running in the Bangkok humidity.

I had no idea of this persons HIV status. I was ok for one week, then when I got home I couldn't sleep for worrying about the possibility of contracting HIV along with any other STD and the possibility of passing it on to my partner.

I had a baseline HIV blood test at 2 weeks. Negative!

The 2nd week I got dizzy, light headed, had no energy and couldn't sleep.(ANXIETY!).

Constant feeling of nausea and loss of appetite, dropped 5kg in weight in 1 week and was barely functioning as a normal person at work and home.(ANXIETY?).

3rd week got slightly sore throat and post nasal drip which lasted for 3 weeks. (ANXIETY?)

4th week got a dry unproductive constant cough. Lasted 4 weeks before easing off.(ANXIETY?)

5th week noticed new lumps on my torso not noticed before. Oh my god, HIV rash!!! (ANXIETY?)

Had blood test at 6 weeks. Negative!

7th week, developed itchy, prickly skin all over body at random times and in random places, including soles of feet and palms, no rash. (ANXIETY?)

8th week started with Peripheral Neuropathy, tingling in fingers, toes, top of feet and backs of hands. Continued to week 12 post exposure.(ANXIETY?)


I wanted to let others know that the anxiety and stress caused by worrying about a possible HIV exposure can give you every symptom you want to imagine. The mind is a very powerful thing, in this case to your detriment.

Browsing the net, reading answers provided by people often without knowledge, is a killer.

Your advice and answers to oher peoples questions was of great help and comfort during the last 3 months.




Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Cole,

Thanks for your thanks and kind comments and for taking the time to write in and share your story. Hopefully it will help other worried wells escape their own self-induced worried-well hells!

Be well.

Dr. Bob

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