12.5 weeks of fear and learning

Question

Hello Dr. Bob

You kindly responded to my email (dumb old man meets stripper) regarding my performing oral sex on a lady I didnt know. I want you to know that your reassuring words kept me from losing my mind as I waited to be tested for HIV. At 12.5 weeks, I tested negative by a rapid blood test at a local clinic. The doctor at the clinic advised(refused) to conduct the elisa test citing low risk.

I find myself struggling with doubt about my status, wondering if I need to test again now, or wait for the 6 month mark and test again. I am certain that sheer panic caused many symptoms despite my efforts to calm my mind. After several weeks of full blown panic attacks, My tongue remains white, nerves fire randomly, and fatigue has set in.

It is a very strange experience, not being able to determine what is real vs self induced symptoms. Hopefully in time, my mind and body will return to normal.

Please accept my modest donation to your foundation as thanks for this site and the time you devote to people like me. Hopefully this dumb old man has learned to be safe, he certainly has learned that HIV can impact anyone and people like you need our support. Thank you so much.

Answer

Hi.

Welcome back to the forum. A negative rapid HIV blood test 12.5 weeks after oral sex on a stripper of unknown HIV status would be considered conclusive. WOO-HOO! ELISA testing now is not warranted. Retesting at six months is also unnecessary, medically speaking. However, if it will bring you additional peace of mind, the tests are always available. The result would undoubtedly be negative.

Your symptoms are quite consistent with anxiety and irrational fear of HIV. I'm confident once you accept the reality of your negative status your symptoms will "magically" disappear. Until then you could consider counseling with a licensed mental health professional to help you confront and conquer your unwarranted worries. You might also talk with your doctor about the need for anti-anxiety medication during this interim period.

Thanks for your support of The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my good-luck/good-health karma that you are now and will forever be HIV free.

Now stop worrying and start WOO-HOO-ing!

Good luck. Be well.

Dr. Bob