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HIV Obsession: Shingles & HPV
Aug 22, 2011

Hello Dr. Bob- I am currently having an episode of extreme paranoia that I contracted HIV in my past. My "questionable" encounter happened over 7 years ago and for some reason I am not just putting 2 and 2 together (I have been tested for STDS over the years but never HIV). I was 18 at this time. I had sexual intercourse with this individual for about a month, both protected and not protected. After we broke it off, a few months later I developed Shingles... which went away with treatment. Sometime after (not sure if months or a year) I received an abnormal pap smear that yeas later showed I had HPV, which has since cleared up. The other thing that concerns me is somewhere around this time I was diagnosed with pleurisy, although I can't recall whether this was before or after our encounter. Either way, 7 years later I have lost my mind thinking about this. It is consuming my life and I have totally convinced myself that I have HIV.

Also, I have always suffered from Geographic Tongue and Tooth Abscess problems... it just seems that everything I have is related to HIV!

Please help! Am I going crazy??

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello.

So, let me get this straight. Seven years after having unprotected sex you claim to have "lost your mind thinking about HIV" and you have "totally convinced yourself that you have HIV." You've had STD screening during the past seven years, but never had an HIV test! Hmm. Is it just me, or does there seem to be a fairly straightforward solution to your dilemma? Is there some sort of trick question here I'm not appreciating? Okay, with my ever-so-keen sense of the obvious I'm going to recommend the following course of action: Get an HIV test and stop all this nonsense! Frevinsakes! You knew I was going to recommend that, didn't you? Of course you did! When it comes to HIV, knowing is always better than not knowing. Look at what not knowing is doing to you: "I am currently having an episode of extreme paranoia. . . . It is consuming my life. . . . Am I going crazy. . . ."

Statistically the odds are in your favor that you did not contract HIV from your wild carefree ways seven years ago, but the only way to know for certain is to get tested. So turn off the computer and go get tested! The results from a rapid HIV test are available in just a few short minutes. Seven years is long enough to be rattling around in a loony bin. Time to leave the cuckoo's nest and get tested. So what are you waiting for? Get going!!!

Write back with your results, okay?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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