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Fear to death about HIV infection
Sep 9, 2011

Dear DR. Bob,

08/09/11 Afternoon,

Dear Dr. Bob,

I forgot mention that my brother in the meanwhile and still now have sore throat symptom.

And because he feel extremely fatigue and in the meanwhile his work in deed very demanding. I am thinking to arrange some good Chinese tea for his sore throat and the best soup for his fatigue. But because such tea and soup definitely have rich Chinese herbs and I am not sure whether they will affect the HIV tests due on the 6th months.

My highest thanks to you

Morning: Dear Dr. Bob,

I can not promise when or how much I can donate to your fund, but I am sure, I and my family will do so. We human being should have a safe living environment. This disease is so bad to all of us. We are so scared and worried and it seems the end of the world to us for the reason we done nothing. We are absolutely innocent.

06/09/11

Dear Dr. Bob I truly love your smile on your photo not ¡phone¡, which comforts me in a certain way!

My whole family¡s greatest thanks to you in advance for your answer to my question as below:

My brother, 39, who is in China, in April this year went to a beauty shop to repair the hard skins on his feet because such hard skins are thick and hard, he felt not comfortable to walk. He has been a very clean person in sexual life and even very rare sexual activities because his wife and his son are living in another city. The guy in the beauty shop used 3 small knives to cut off the hard skins and my brother saw that the guy actually did antisepsis (by hygiene) for these three knives before he started his work. But he did not saw whether the final knife which was used to smooth the skin for the final step was done with antisepsis. My brother later found that his leg food skin was broken and blooded. This broken skin was on the left foot, about 15-20 minutes after the guy did work firstly on his right foot.

But for the following months, he felt extremely fatigue, rash on his belly place which disappeared after one week (this symptom also happened after he did a CT check, which inject some medicine in his body in order to do the CT check), sore throat, the most fearful thing is the swollen lymph note on the leg groin; he was so frightened. on 8th week, he took HIV test, negative; on 100 days, he took another time test, negative. in the meanwhile, he checked the best local hospitals and the doctors could not find out the reason for the swollen lymph note. Because he still have the swollen lymph note and feel extremely fatigue, He is almost collapse and so fearful that he could hardly live in normal work life and think he is going to die soon. And he is going to take the HIV test on due 6 months time. He even already arranged the issues after he die.

I am in UK, I just cried together with him by phone and I don¡t think I am able to loose my dearest brother.

But I still doubt: 1) whether such way can be possible for HIV infection and 2) does that mean if the tests on 6th months is negative, we can make final decision that he is free from such disease 3) how much assurance for 100 days¡ test result: negative and how much possible for it to be false negative 4) how should he prepare for the tests again on due 6th month time.

Thank you so much for saving us!

Merry

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello, Merry.

Your brother's HIV-acquisition risk is negligible at best. His negative HIV-antibody test at 100 days is conclusive and definitive.

There are many reasons for fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. Your brother's fears that he will die soon are irrational.

Responding to your specific questions:

1. His HIV-acquisition risk is negligible.

2. Yes.

3. I would consider this test conclusive. Chances of a false-negative test results at both week eight and on day 100 are so remote they are essentially nonexistent.

4. No special preparations are needed. The result will undoubtedly be negative.

Chinese herbs will not affect HIV test results.

I would suggest your brother seek the help of a licensed mental health professional to help him confront and conquer his irrational fear of being HIV infected. He may well need help with depression and anxiety (counseling and/or antidepressant/anti-anxiety medications).

Dr. Bob



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