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In need of help, I'll donate don't know how though
May 23, 2010

Dear Dr Bob,

I am in such an awful position. I can't concentrate on anything anymore. On March 5th I went to a brothel in Spain, and solicited the services of a CSW. I remember it being protected, but I have good reason to believe the condom slipped, also, I fingered her rather rigorously.

Three days later I had the worst diarrhea and a high fever. The day after that, shingles all over my legs, and dry itchy/scratchy testicles which still continue (dermatologist diagnosed it as jock itch). Diarrhea lasted about 1-2 weeks. Then I came down with a mild cold. A fever of 101 at two weeks, lasted about a day. I also had back acne that I hadn't had before. Around 4 weeks I started getting little spots on my hands, accompanied by redness and dryness. At 5 weeks, worst sore throat ever, severe night sweats, and a rash all over my torso. Most of that subsided. I had a week period where my hands would get extremely red and hot from about week 7-8. Then lately the night sweats came back, and occasionally my hands feel like they're falling asleep more often.

What's now killing me is my fiancee, with whom I've only ever had protected sex, is showing similar bump like symptoms, and had a little spotting before her period was supposed to come, and it never did, it's 2 weeks late now. She also is extremely fatigued and is having some of those hot flashes I was. She also had a weird fungus like rash on her finger around her ring. We don't engage in oral, and she isn't pregnant, we've only engaged in protected sex, although I fingered her once when my cuticle was cut, and I could feel it stung me a bit. I'm so worried I've infected her now!

Now, here are the tests I've taken: 6 weeks: HIV Antibody, Negative 7 weeks: All STDs, Negative, Full Urine Analysis and CBC all normal except cloud urine. 7.5 Weeks: HIV PCR DNA and Antibody Negative. 8.5 Weeks: HIV Antibody, Negative 72 Days: HIV PCR DNA and Antibody, Negative.

Please doctor, I don't know what to do! I need your advice, if this isn't HIV what could it be? Also, I'm so WORRIED because I've been reading through forums and many people test negative at 3 months, then positive afterwards, so I've begun to think that the rule is wrong, and I'm so close to 3 months but I can't do this for another 3!!! Some people even claim not testing positive years after their exposure! What's the truth?? Also, a lot of people become positive while using condoms I've noticed! So it makes me more concerned, not only for myself, but for my fiancee!

Please Dr Bob, I will make a donation! Just tell me how and I will! Sorry for the lengthy question!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Your fears are unwarranted. Protected sex is indeed protected if the latex condom was used properly and didn't fail (break). A condom can slide up so long as it doesn't slip off and still remain effective!

Your multiple HIV-antibody tests and undetectable qualitative HIV DNA PCR tests out to 72 days can be considered definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. No further HIV tests are warranted. Your concerns about delayed seroconversion and condom efficacy are unwarranted. The qualitative HIV PCR DNA tests are not dependent on anti-HIV antibody production. Rather they search for a piece of the virus's genetic material.

I can't diagnose the cause of your or your fiancee's symptoms over the Internet. However, what I can do with great certainty is advise you what is not causing them. It's not HIV! I would suggest you both follow-up with your general medicine physicians for any persistent symptoms. But remember, HIV is not the cause, OK?

Some of your symptoms may be guilt-related anxiety. I'd suggest you level with your fiancee. It's not only the best way to confront your guilt; it's also the right thing to do.

Regarding donations to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation, donation information can be found on the foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org. Thanks for your desire to help others. In return I'm sending you my good-luck karma that you are now and will always be HIV free.

Good luck and congratulations on your upcoming trip down the aisle!

Dr. Bob



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