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Likelyhood of getting HIV after protected sex with a hooker--so stressed and scared
Oct 30, 2010

Dear Dr.,

This forum is amazing. My fears and anxiety are starting to consume me so I figured I'd try to ask some questions to clear things up.

Almost a month ago I had protected sex with a hooker in california. I used a latex condom and she gave me some oral and then got on top of me for vaginal sex. She was on top of me for no more then 5 minutes. I then took off the condom and finished myself off in the bathroom alone. At no time did I not have the condom on during the oral or vaginal. To the best of my knowledge it did not break. When she got off the condom was fully intact and it did not slide off.

About 3 weeks prior to going to cali, I had a dry cough, as in just coughing pretty frequently with no other symptoms. After I came back from california (weekend trip) I was still coughing so I went to my Dr. He prescribed me some anti-biotics and cough suppressants (it probably didn't help I was drinking all weekend). A week after my trip and towards the end of the antibiotics, I started having a stuffy nose and sneezing a lot also (a lot of people around me at work etc were all sick sneezing and coughing).

After convincing myself I have Hiv the stress guilt and anxiety was eating me alive I was going into a panic. I was sneezing and coughing even more. Eventually I talked myself into thinking there's a chance I'm okay and I quickly got better. Now, its been almost a month since my trip and my dry cough and stuffy nose are gone, but Ive had headaches (pain near the temples of my head), a stiff neck and I think a sore throat for a few days now. Its more like very mile throat pains then sore. I know that sounds strange but it doesn't feel sore when I swallow or anything, but my mind keeps saying it may be a very mild sore throat from ars. I've had real sore throats in the past and it doesn't feel like the others so I'm worried.

Up to this point I have had no other symptoms besides those above, so no fever, rash, nght sweats, nausea, etc, and I've had the flu before but I haven't felt like I've gotten anything flu like..when I focus on the thought I am potentially positive I get hot flashes..however I know not everyone experiences ars symptoms so I am deathly terrified.

is it likely that I've contracted hiv? My anxiety is eating me alive and I don't know whether these headaches are ars related and if this sore throat should be worrysome in addition to my cough and runny nose

Also, I have been tested for hiv prior to this encounter and I was negative

Any help would be greatly appreciated and I'd love to make a donation Sincerely,

- stressed out on the east coast

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Stressed Out on the East Coast,

Your HIV-acquisition risk is essentially nonexistent, assuming the latex condom was used properly and did not fail (break).

Your "symptoms" are not consistent with nor worrisome for HIV ARS (acute retroviral syndrome).

You diagnose your own problem when you write:

: "my mind keeps saying it may be a very mild sore throat from ARS."

: "when I focus on the thought I am potentially positive I get hot flashes. . . ."

: "my anxiety is eating me alive. . . ."

: ". . . I am deathly terrified."

To sum up, you had essentially no risk and no worrisome symptoms and yet you're an anxious wreck due to "stress, guilt, and anxiety." Your fears are irrational and unwarranted. Your problem is not HIV but rather fear of HIV brought on by your visit to the naughty lady on Shady Lane during your boozy California getaway weekend.

If my reassurance is not enough for you to shake your unwarranted worries and put your irrational fears permanently to rest (where they belong), you could consider getting a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. The only reason to do so is psychological peace of mind. The result will undoubtedly be negative. In the interim, while waiting for your conclusive three-month test, you may well benefit from treatment of your anxiety. Anti-anxiety medications and/or psychotherapy (counseling) can be very beneficial in helping to confront irrational HIV fears and phobias as well as addressing your guilt and panic issues.

Thank you for your tax-deductible donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's urgently needed and warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my good-luck/good-health karma that you can now and will always be HIV free.

Good luck. Be well. Stay well. (Yes, you are indeed "well.")

Dr. Bob



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