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Please Help Out a Maltese
Sep 18, 2010

hello from Malta Dr. Bob. I know you're busy so I will try to keep it short. I was attacked by a gang of thugs while on a trip to US. Police were called. Photos taken of injuries, which included what police called a "puncture wound". Have become afraid that the "puncture wound" was a needle. It certainly resembles this. 6 days after incident developed runny/sniffly nose. I have no allergies. 11 days after incident excutiating sore throat and odd welt like rash only on righ side of face which both lasted 2 days. 13 days after incident developed bad diarrhea which lasted 2 days. Sniffly nose has continued to this day (three and a half weeks after assault). Had general tests and antibody test 12 days after incident (4th generation). WBC low, otherwise everything seemed normal. I am really worried. Does this sound like HIV ARS to you? Have you heard of anyone getting HIV after an incident like this? What are the chances? I realize this was longer than I thought and I apologize. Much love and donation to follow. Come visit Malta sometime. I am sure you'd love it.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Sorry to hear your trip to the US was spoiled by the violent assault! Hopefully the thugs were apprehended and now reside behind bars!

Regarding HIV ARS symptoms, it must be noted that symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. That said, your symptoms are not worrisome for or suggestive of HIV ARS. Have I heard of anyone contracting HIV in an incident like yours? No, I have not. The chances a gang of thugs would have a syringe of fresh HIV-tainted blood and manage to inject you with an adequate amount to cause an infection during a violent altercation are extremely remote at best. If my assurance is not sufficient for you to put your fears permanently to rest, you could get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. I'm quite confident the result would be negative.

As for Malta, I've heard great things about it, but have not yet had the opportunity to visit. Hopefully I'll remedy that situation sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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