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Maybe you can help me out Doc, Marine in need of advice
Jul 31, 2011

About 9 months ago I was deployed in the Philippines, Long story short i had a drunken night of indiscretion and had unprotected sex with an off duty bar girl. Normally i'm not the type to worry but it feels like my strength has been sapped. I'm tired all the time and eat constantly. Also something i found interesting is possible minor thrush on my tongue, I'm not really sure when it developed though. I did get sick about a month and a half after this incident and had flu like symptoms and a fever for a couple days. Then I got sick again when i was deployed to Thailand for an exercise but this one closely resembled food poisoning and probably was. After that i haven't been sick again at all. Now i'm back in the states and having just taken a required annual HIV test I'm starting to consider the possibility I could be infected. So Doc what i basically want to know is what are my chances here? Could my fatigue be caused by my body still adjusting to a new sleep schedule coming back from being stationed in Japan for two years, even after 5 months here? And If i'm developing thrush doesn't that mean my immune system may be weakened? If so wouldn't I be getting sick pretty often? Thank you for your time.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello, Marine.

First off, on behalf of all Americans, thank you for your service!

Regarding your HIV risk, unprotected sex does place you at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV. Consequently HIV testing is warranted, whether or not you experienced any symptoms. Symptoms, as it turns out, are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. The reason to worry or get tested is HIV-exposure risk, not the presence or absence of symptoms. That said, your particular symptoms are not suggestive of HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS). It's unlikely that your "possible minor thrush" is really thrush. Your fatigue may well be related to stress, anxiety or depression as well as to a host of other medical conditions.

Your HIV test results are pending; consequently, you'll have a definitive answer very soon. The statistical odds are all in your favor that you did not contract HIV from this incident.

Good luck! I'm here if you need me, OK?

Dr. Bob



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