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Karma, please!
Nov 13, 2010

Dear Dr. Bob,

On October 30, I was sexually assaulted by a male of unknown status. I am a woman, and the act was unprotected vaginal intercourse. I found this site/forum while researching the appropriate timeline for getting tested for HIV and other STDs. From the information I found here, I was able to see an HIV specialist within the first few days afterward who prescribed Truvada. At this time I was also tested for all of the standard STDs, including HIV, which were all negative. I know the tests are not yet conclusive. I started the medication around hour 65; I wish I could have started it sooner, but I had never heard of PEP. It is now day 8 of my treatment and although I have had some mild symptoms of nausea and fatigue, I have not had much of a problem with side effects. I've scheduled follow-up appointments with the HIV specialist for more testing, consulted my primary care physician about the situation, and began looking for a counselor to help me deal with the trauma of the assault.

All that being said, I must admit that I don't actually have a question. I've browsed this forum thoroughly and do not believe that you can give me any new information that I haven't already found about my risk. All I can do now is wait. But it's proving rather difficult, and your kindness and well wishes would mean more than you can imagine.

Thank you for everything you do, you are a wonderful person. I look forward to making a donation.

H

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello H,

I'm very sorry to learn of your sexual assault. I hope the perpetrator has been arrested and is now behind bars!

I'm extremely pleased you found the information here enlightening and reassuring. You are indeed proceeding exactly as you should. PEP was begun within the 72-hour window; you have consulted an HIV specialist physician to monitor your PEP therapy and conduct post-PEP HIV testing; you've consulted your primary care physician; and you will soon be seeing a counselor to help with the emotional turmoil. BRAVO! Your HIV specialist may be a good resource to help you find an appropriate counselor. The stress of sexual assault coupled with the stress of having to take PEP and endure six months of HIV testing can be extremely challenging and anxiety provoking. I'm here in case you need me, OK?

Thank you for your support of The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. My very best good-luck/good-health karma has been sent that not only your HIV tests remain negative, but that you quickly and completely recover from the emotional trauma of this horrendous situation.

Be well! (And that's a doctor's order!)

Dr. Bob



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