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concerned for our son

Jul 25, 2010

Dear Dr Frascino

My wife and I are concerned for our son so I am writing to you for advice. He is a 16 year old student in London. This happened during a recent holiday trip with some acquaintances. Most were guys but there were a couple of girls. According to him, they did some stupid things like get naked and masturbate. He says that there was no intercourse and while some of the people had oral sex, he chose not to. So he was not engaged in any sexual activity except what might be called mutual masturbation which I read in your manifold replies that it is not really a risk.

My son is anxious because he remembers there was exchange of fluids during mutual masturbation and he had these fluids on his penis. He is also worried because he does not know enough about some of these people on the holiday trip. He has reasons to believe that some could be HIV+ because they take drugs and are promiscuous. I have asked a couple of physicians about this situation and they said there is nothing to worry about. I have also tried to explain to my son that since he did not have sex, he cannot have any STD. I have not approached any specialists and someone told me about you and this Forum. She had written to you several times, and your replies have always calmed her down. I thought if I could get your opinion and show it to my son in written form, it would help to calm him down. What do you think of his risk in this situation? I am also thinking, for peace of mind, to send him for testing. I read in your archives that 3 months is a conclusive test for HIV do you feel this is necessary in his case?

Your opinion would be much welcomed and appreciated. Separately, we are happy to make a modest donation to your Foundation. Thanks.


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Mike,

It's certainly not uncommon for 16-year-olds to experiment sexually with their mates and travel companions. Your son appears to have shown good judgment in avoiding unsafe sexual activity. You are correct: Mutual masturbation is not considered a risk for HIV or other STDs. If your son remains worried despite my reassurance, I would suggest:

1. He should submit his own questions to this forum further articulating his concerns.

2. He should be encouraged to peruse the wealth of information in the archives of this forum.

3. A single HIV test/STD screen could be performed at the three-month mark for peace of mind. Testing is not warranted medically but may be helpful psychologically.

Thanks for your support of The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation ( It's warmly appreciated. I also applaud the open relationship you have with your son. Keep the lines of communication (and information) open!

Be well.

Dr. Bob

Could the Doctors be wrong
How very grateful I am to have you... Much love always... Mommy of three

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