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To soon to test!
May 10, 2011

Afternoon Doctor,

I have been reading through your forum, and it seems to make me question my symptoms more. The following is what I know:

About 2 months ago, I was with a woman. She got on top of me and inserted my penis inside of her, I was inside of her for about 15 seconds to a minute, and I pushed her off of me because I didn't have a condom. I understand exposure is exposure. About 3 days later, I noticed a more severe ringing in my ears, and the feel of a heart beat in my head and neck, that has continued to this day. I have not had a fever, rash, swollen lymph nodes, but I have not felt the best in the last few days. I also have had a bit of pain/discomfort in the back of my head and neck, also I was put on an antibiotic due to a bug bite, approximately ten days after that I noticed a white film on my tongue, when I brush my teeth I can get rid of some of it but it always comes back, this has been there about a month. It is not painful. I saw a doctor about a week ago, for the heartbeat in my head and there was a blood draw, but not for HIV, due to the time. Would the blood test have shown anything that would require further testing (problems with blood counts)? Based on the wonderful world of the Internet, some of my symptoms having nothing to do with HIV, but some do, so as you can guess, I am flipping out. Any advice, thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I also will make a donation to you.

Thank you very much.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

You are correct: unprotected sex does put you at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV. Consequently HIV testing at the three-month mark is warranted.

Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. Your symptoms are not consistent with HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS). However, they are very consistent with anxiety. Talk to your doctor about getting treatment for anxiety: anti-anxiety medications and/or psychotherapeutic counseling can be very beneficial. I agree with your decision to get tested at three months, but see no reason to "flip out" in the interim.

Thanks for your support of The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending my good-luck karma that your definitive three-month test will be negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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