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High Risk and transmission risk
Jun 18, 2011

Dr. what you do as part of your foundation and on this site is beyond words and I would like to thank you for taking the time to address peoples concerns and making them better understand HIV.

I had an HIV test last year around the same time and turned out negative. Since then I have had only 1 instance of sexual intercourse and that is what I want some feedback on as I am worrying over it all day. I had protected vaginal and oral sometime middle of April and was overwhelmed with fear and regret the minute I walked out. Two-three weeks post that I started having a runny nose, nasal congestion along with a blocked ear, dizziness, nausea, lethargy, headaches and swollen lymph nodes on the bottom of my jaw, both sides. I also lost around 5-10 lbs as I lost my appetite. I have also been extremely stressed over this. Since then I have taken 2 different types of antibiotics as prescribed, but my lymph nodes are still there, along with the discomfort in my ear as well as a discomfort in my throat. I have also had a couple of itch red rashes for a day or two, I am not sure if these were hives or rashes. I have had no fever, an intense sore throat, diarohhea muscle aches, oral thrush or any of the other symptoms. Dr., I would greatly appreciate if you could give some feedback regarding my symptoms, risk of infection with HIV, and if you would recommed testing. If you do, what type would you recommed at the 8-9 week mark. This act of mine has been literally overwhelming me with fear, guilt, regret and I would greatly appreciate your help in me addressing my fear. Thanks once again for all you help and guidance

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi.

"Protected" sex is indeed protected, assuming the latex condom was used properly and did not fail (break).

Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected.

Your fears are unwarranted and way out of proportion to any true HIV-acquisition risk. You report "this act of mine has been literally overwhelming me with fear, guilt, regret...." BINGO! Your problem appears to be one of irrational fear of HIV, rather than HIV itself.

Regarding HIV testing, HIV-antibody tests taken before the three-month mark are not considered to be conclusive. Consequently I'd suggest you wait until the three-month mark to test. In the interim I'd suggest you consult a licensed mental health professional to help you confront and conquer your irrational HIV fears. Sex is supposed to be fun, not anxiety provoking!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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