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Hello Doctor... a question for the wise
Oct 22, 2010

After reading several of your answers to many posts, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and get some of that wit and wisdom that many have received. I know this may not be a unique question, but I haven't seen any asked about my particular situation. I have a history of convincing myself that I have some life-threatening, infectious disease, and the end is near. I know it's silly, but after reading your posts, I see that I am not alone.

Here's my situation:

I am a married man. During a night of drinking and having a good time, a friend and I ran into a waitress at a restaurant. She ended up following us to his place, and we had a threesome. She insisted that we both wear condoms, so that's exactly what we did. After the fact, she divulged to us that she is an ex-heroin addict. In my drunken state, I did not question the situation. Also, her HIV status is not known. It wasn't until the next morning and a hangover later that I started regretting my decision, and the guilt from doing this to my wife and the risk involved has consumed me for sometime now.

There was no oral, and the only contact between myself and her mucous membranes was french kissing, fingering, and protected vaginal sex for about 10 mins. I used my own spit to lubricate the condom, and when I pulled out there was no noticeable break.

I had a rapid test done at Planned Parenthood at 3 weeks, 9 weeks, and 12 weeks. All were negative. Each time, the Uni-Gold Recombigen test, by Trinity, was used. I believe that is a third generation test.

So....that being said, can I finally exhale? My history of worrying and anxiety has me fixed on the 6 month window period that I see on several websites. Am I done with this nonsense? I can't go another 6 months worrying....it's exhausting. I deserve the anxiety from worrying for doing this behind my wife's back, but I don't think I should die because of it.

Thank You in advance! Where do I get information about the tax write-off for your organization? I would like to make a donation.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

You convince yourself you have life-threatening infectious diseases and that the end is near???? Hmm. Dude, don't you think you could find a less anxiety-provoking hobby? What about trying Sudoku or the New York Times Crossword puzzles? However, you are correct; you are not alone in playing the self-induced worried-well hell game. Check out the chapter in the archives entitled "I'm Positive I'm Positive."

Your HIV-acquisition risk from your boozy menage-a-trois with Wendy Waitress is negligible, assuming the latex condom was used properly and did not break.

Your repeatedly negative HIV tests out to 12 weeks are definitive and conclusive. Not only can you exhale, but you can WOO-HOO as well. No further HIV testing is warranted.

As for your anxiety and guilt, I'd suggest you level with your wife. It's not only the best way to confront your guilt; it's also the right thing to do.

Donation information for The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation can be found on the foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible. Thanks for your support.

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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