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Discordant testing advice between two The Body experts over French kissing and HIV -- A sinking ship, yet the band plays on!

Aug 28, 2011

Dr. Frascino,

Please take a look at the response given by Dr. Fawcett -- The Body's Mental Health and HIV expert -- regarding someone's concern over acquiring HIV from a french kiss, and testing advice for this level of exposure:

His advice -- have "occasional" tests out to six months after the kiss (not sure what he meant by "occasional") -- completely deviates from the advice you give to people with similar concerns: do not to test at all, unless visible blood was present.

Should we follow Dr. Fawcett's advice or yours?

Granted, Dr. Fawcett is not an MD. However, it's quite paramount that he be aware of what constitutes a risk and what doesn't, especially if he is to be considered an expert on The Body.

And, it's no wonder why forum posters morph into fluffernutters on The Body: experts give conflicting information/advice, heightening the probability of cognitive dissonance.

This is just as dangerous as Dr. Google for people's mental well-being, and for taking preventive measures against acquiring/transmitting HIV.

To make matters even more comical, he linked to the humorous, yet sober "Magic 8 ball" post ( you had responded to in the Safe Sex and HIV Prevention forum's archive over experts not fully agreeing on the level of risk from open mouth kissing. What a serendipitous coincidence!


An Extremely Concerned Visitor

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello, Extremely Concerned Visitor.

As you point out David Fawcett cited one of my posts in his answer. I really don't believe there is much difference in our advice and certainly no cause for cognitive dissonance, consulting Magic 8 Balls or morphing into a totally looney tunes, bat-shit crazy, fluffernutter! David Fawcett states: "There is an extremely low chance of transmitting the virus by French kissing, although it is theoretically possible because of the potential for blood contact." This jibes fairly well with my comments. As for advice on testing, yes, it can get confusing. It's important to note that at times I, too, advise testing, even when the risk is essentially negligible. This is primarily to gain psychological peace of mind for anxious wrecks -- perhaps like you, for instance!

I stand by my published comments.

Dr. Bob

Anxiety about French-kissing a girl and two weeks later getting the flu Aug 4, 2011

French Kissing Risk: Should I ask my Magic 8 ball? Jan 9, 2010

Went To Strip Club with a little finger cut - very panic
Is this possible?

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