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Appeal for advice. Just donated. Please answer.
Mar 28, 2011

Dear Dr. Bob, Please reply. I was the scared straight guy . I know (wrong!!) Just scared and need more advice. I am about 15 days away from the 3 month mark and am desperately in need of your response. You know my story but the only thing is I have been going through this for the last 2 .5 months .Through all of this time I get stressed only when I get a symptom. As you know I am being treated for anxiety ( nothing short of being terrified) Here is the question. I have had symptoms for the last month and a half . These are real to me !! I have have not had a fever but have had night sweats at least 5 times in the last 45 days. I have had 5 pimples on my torso that take a long time to go away . One on the back of my leg. I have had minor headaches.My gland in my neck felt swollen one day. I have had diarrhea at least 3 times. My groin and muscles have ached from time to time. I felt pain in my chest like pneumonia or something comes and goes. I have had a swollen uvula with a white patch on it. I had lost my appetite for at least a month . Much better now.I have lost 8 pounds. I find I can eat if a have a drink of wine or two before. I felt very weak at least twice. I have had muscle aches and pains throughout..comes and goes. .I have not stopped worrying ! The only thing that calms me down is my anxiety med or alcohol. I have researched the symptoms over and over and have almost all of them except fever. I went to my local STD clinic to get tested . They said very little to worry about In fact oral they very seldom test for a one time very low risk exposure. They said my pimples were pimples,.. not HIV and only tested me for gonorrhea. Advised me like everyone else everything is stress related? Why cannot I believe all this advice when I actually have had all these very real symptoms-over the last 45 days? Can my anxiety actually make my body feel this way? I don't believe it. Please help me figure all this out. I feel like my life is over! Gay,.. but still very worried. I think I have HIV. Scared.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

"Thinking" you have HIV and actually having HIV are two very different things.

I'll answer your key question:

Question: "Can my anxiety actually make my body feel this way?"

Answer: Absofrickenlutely! You state you don't believe it. What you believe or don't believe doesn't really affect reality and scientific fact.

You report everyone has advised you your symptoms are all stress related. I agree.

I would suggest you continue with your anti-anxiety mediation and counseling and get your three-month HIV-antibody test. I remain confident the result will be negative and that after you get that news and accept the reality of your negative HIV status, your symptoms will "magically" disappear as you WOO-HOO like a banshee in heat.

So whether you're straight as a lawn dart or gay as the Christmas windows at Macy's, my assessment and advice remain unchanged.

Dr. Bob



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