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Actual exposure question enclosed
Sep 2, 2011

Good Doctor Roberto,

Love your work on here, including your blog. You are doing God's work and I pray you are blessed with a cure in your lifetime. Or should I say that "we" are blessed with a cure.

I had a heterosexual unprotected exposure a little less than 6 weeks ago and believe I have joined the ranks of the virally enhanced. I hadn't thought much of my exposure beyond disappointment for being stupid and not being safe until about 2 or so weeks ago (so approx. 3 or so weeks post exposure). I have had a sore throat for literally the past few weeks. It hasn't been severe, but definitely red and inflammed and irritated. For a few nights I took some NyQuil thinking I'd zap it, but hasn't worked. During this time I developed pressure in both ears (possible otitis media) that never materialized into a painfuil earache. The pressure seems to have subsided now, but my sore throat persists. I have also had constant headaches for the past 2 weeks, and intermittent diarrhea. I felt feverish the past few days, but it didn't really get out of control and I didn't actually feel sick (flu-like).

Basically it's the persistent sore throat, headaches, and ear pressure build up that have been present from about 2-3 weeks post exposure until now (about 6 weeks post exposure). I keep on waiting for the HIV rash and swollen lymph nodes to appear, but they haven't yet.

Now that I'm at almost 6 weeks I know I should test, I just can believe I am going to get the call from my doctor to "come down to my office". In the past all more sore throats have been zapped thanks to NyQuil. Between my throat and my headaches, this must be HIV.

I am just scared and writing this to you has given me at least a few minutes of comfort. Thanks,

Andy

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello, Andy.

"Believing you have joined the ranks of the virally enhanced" and actually having acquired HIV are two completely different things! You may be convinced you've got it, but I'm certainly not!

Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. I would advise you get an HIV-antibody at the three-month mark. The statistical odds are all in your favor that you did not acquire the virus from your one-time unsafe encounter. Write back with your definitive test results, okay? I'm here if you need me, but I doubt you will.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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