You are a beacon of light to many- glad I found you.
Nov 5, 2010
Dr Bob,I just found your site and first want to say how impressed I am with you. You will be rewarded for your compasion and help to those in dire straits. I an a 50 year old white male married with 2 children.I live in the bible belt and dont think I could tell anyone this but you. To make a long story short I had my first homosexual experience witha younger man I met on craigslist. I had unprotected anal sex to completion with me inserting the penis. I know how stupid that was and yes alcohol in large doses was invovled. A few weeks after that I started having diarreah. It has continued now for 3-4 weeks and I have lost 20 lbs . It usually occurs 3 or 4 times a day and is often only liquid. I also started experiencing numbeness tingling sensations down the right side of my face, neck, and shoulder. I had a catscan and nothing showed up. I also have been diagnosed 3 years ago with parkinson plus disorder and an on sinamet and requip. I am trying my best to control my anziety but when I think about my family, I lose it. To make matters worse, before the symptoms started i had sex with my wife and I cant believe I did that..I am working on my alcohol problem. Iam so stressed about my health but almost going crazy thinking I have put my wife at risk and could do this to my family. The guy I had sex with post regularly on craiglist and a few days ago someone posted a warning that he was hiv positive beware. This is when I about lost it. He told me he was clean but I know that means nothing. I started to go back to his apartment and confront him but I realize I might not control my emotions if I did. Besides, I know I am responsible for my own behavior. I guess I have a few questions. What are the odds that one unprotected encounter with an hiv+ person could result in infection? Do my symptoms suggest exposure. I read about other symptoms during acute phase. Does it do any good to test now or wait till 3 months? And most importantly, what are the odds I could have infected my wife?? The guilt is undiscribable. Thank you so very much for considering my email.. God Bless you for your work!
Response from Dr. Frascino
Your experience of sexual repression in the Bible Belt leading to an unsafe sexual encounter (often under the influence of alcohol) is a remarkable common and somewhat tragic story.
Giving "odds" on a one-time encounter is not helpful, as there are many confounding variables: viral load, viral strain, concurrent STDs, immune integrity, etc. The bottom line is much more straightforward. Unsafe sex is risky business and you placed yourself at risk for STDs, including HIV. My advice is:
1. Level with your wife. It's not only the best way to confront your guilt and anxiety; it's also the right thing to do. You should use latex condoms with your wife until your HIV-negative status can be reconfirmed.
2. Assuming your craigslist bottom-boy is positively charged, you would need HIV-antibody tests at the three- and six-month marks to definitively confirm your negative status.
3. Consider psychological counseling to explore sexual orientation issues and to help with your guilt and anxiety problems.
The chance you infected your wife is exceedingly low. Your symptoms are not worrisome for HIV ARS (acute retroviral syndrome), however testing is still warranted.
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