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Magical disappearing symptoms...
Aug 6, 2011

Dr. Bob,

I've asked a few questions to you -- you responded to each, though I'm sure you have MUCH more important things to do than deal with a WWBC (Worried Well Beyond Comprehension).

My exposures (if you can even call them that) were two instances of frottage/mutual masturbation, of which only one was even REMOTELY possible to pass pre-cum from his hand to my penis. Your responses were either your patented "Relax Max, all is well, including you," to the more formal "HIV has never been transmitted by mutual masturbation, frottage, etc. The only reason to test would be for psychological peace of mind."

Well, my psychological peace of mind has been a war zone of sorts for the past 12 weeks. I have spent enough money on testing -- almost weekly -- that could have easily gone to more useful (or beneficial) endeavors. But, my mind was playing tricks with my health -- and this "non-risk" scare got the best of me. Thankfully my monogamous partner of 10 years dealt with all my paranoia (and glasses of wine, sleeping pills, etc). Everyone thought I was nuts to worry so much about a non-risk event... And I realized that I was nuts to do so.

So, I hope you will post this for all the worriers out there... After 8 HIV antibody tests in the past several months, 1 DNA-HIV test at 7 weeks, and the most recent (FINAL) antibody test yesterday at 12 weeks (aka 3 months), all of which were negative, I think it's time to deal with the realities of life and not the anxiety-driven worry about something which does not happen. Oh yes, all of the symptoms are now disappearing too. I only wish that I could have sent your foundation all of the money I spent unnecessarily testing. But now there's some bills for the psychologist I am seeing to try and figure out why such a miniscule event put me into such panic. I will send you something good though.

May I ask one favor? Could you woo-hoo me please. It's become a right of passage (even if I was never in a situation where a woo-hoo would have not been the obvious answer all along). And, could you forgive me for taking SO much of your valuable time to deal with a 50+ year old man who was dealing with anxiety not HIV.

Thanks Dr. Bob. May God bless your work and you too.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi.

Welcome back to the forum. Thank you for taking the time to write in and share your story, your great news and your newfound insights.

I'll gladly post your story in the hopes it will help others still trapped in their own self-induced worried-well hell.

I'm thrilled that both my "patented Relax Max" and my more formal "the only reason to test would be to gain psychological peace of mind" wound up being true. Hopefully others will not need eight negative HIV-antibody tests out to 12 weeks and an undetectable qualitative HIV PCR DNA at seven weeks to resolve their doubts.

I'm also delighted (and not at all surprised) that your various symptoms are now magically disappearing as you accept the irrefutable and overwhelming evidence that you are HIV negative. Licensed mental health professionals can be very helpful in treating folks who have irrational obsessions. Irrational obsession with HIV can be a sign of depression, OCD or hypochondriasis among other psychological conditions. Irrational obsession can also act as a distraction so individuals won't have to address more complex and challenging issues, such as sexual orientation, guilt, infidelity or sexuality problems. I'm extremely pleased you are getting the help you need to overcome your fears.

As for money wasted on totally unnecessary and completely unwarranted HIV tests in the worried wells who frequent this forum, if that money were donated to a foundation, the sum would very quickly rival the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in total dollars!

Finally I have one word for you: WOO-HOO. Or maybe that's two words? Or perhaps not a word at all? Well, whatever. WOO-HOO and YABBA-DABBA-DO to you!

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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