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Expression of Gratitude
Jul 18, 2010

Dr Bob

Please allow me to express my utmost gratitude to you for being there in my time of need. You calmed me down with your reassurance, and requested that I get a HIV test at the 3 month mark to put my fears permanently to rest. It turned out negative just as you predicted it would be. But just when I was celebrating my woo-hoos, I had a lapse in judgment and gave in to a friend by accompanying him to a Turkish bath. If you could help me with this final query, I will be on my way and take better care of myself.

1. At the Turkish bath located in a shabby place, I was given an excessively rough scrub with soap on my half-naked body by a large-built Turkish man. I bled quite a bit so that caused me to worry about the scrub/sponge being contaminated with blood and/or semen. My body was all red at the back by the time I got home. Have I in any way put myself at risk if indeed that shared sponge had HIV-infected fluids?

2. I had a toe plantar wart while I was at the Turkish bath. If the wart came in contact with fresh HIV-contaminated blood, say on the slipper or on the floor or by the scrub (my toes got in touch with all these), am I at risk for HIV as well?

3. Two and half weeks after the incident (that is now), I have a high fever, my glands on my neck and both my armpits swell and ache, my muscles ache all over my body, and I have very dry skin. I have a rather terrible sore throat as well. Could these symptoms be a consequence of my unfortunate time at the Turkish bath?

4. Can I woo-hoo and move on in life by forgetting about this Turkish incident and instead relish on my HIV-negative result?

You wholeheartedly deserve all the praises and compliments you get on this website and beyond. In fact, you deserve a special Tony Award for your invaluable contributions to the medical profession combined with gentle humor and musical class :)

Hoping you will reply my message. I would, as before, be very grateful for your advice. As pledged, I have made a modest contribution to your Foundation. Happy to have done so.

-Your Fan from Turkey

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Fan from Turkey,

Thanks for your kind comments. I'll let you know if the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League call about that Tony award!

Regarding your HIV worries, they are again unwarranted.

Responding to your specific questions:

1. Even though your rub-a-dub-dub sounds overly aggressive, the HIV risk remains nonexistent.

2. HIV risk: nonexistent.

3. Extremely unlikely.

4. I see no reason to question your WOO-HOO.

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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