Symptoms of HIV versus Diabetes


Hi Dr. Bob,

I know symptoms mean nothing in terms of HIV. The same probably goes for diabetes. Only blood tests can ascertain what one might have.

However, I'm trying to gauge what could possibly be causing my symptoms. Yes, I'm still experiencing symptoms. Severe dry skin (with flaking) of the face and hands along with flat warts on my hands are a few new symptoms I am now experiencing.

After reading a bunch of stuff out on the web on both HIV and diabetes, it appears symptoms of HIV and diabetes intersect. In other words, many of the same symptoms can appear in both disorders (not including the bout of HPV on my hands, albeit I could be wrong). Is this correct? Why is this, from a medical perspective?

By the way, my period of abstinence came to an end, just recently. Although, it was long overdue (almost 9 months), I still hold "what if I am really infected" thoughts and fear I over infecting my wife.

Do you still think I'm whacked?

Thanks again,


Symptoms of HIV and Diabetes Addendum (Submitted Apr 7, 2010)

Hi Dr. Bob,

I forgot to mention other symptoms I'm experiencing. Please merge this post with my previous post.

It appears I have minor folliculitis on my hands and wrists; joint/muscle pain in many areas of my body; and strange/painful sensations near lymph nodes of my left armpit and neck (not sure if stress/anxiety is causing the latter).

Do you still believe this isn't HIV? Could it be diabetes?

The reason why I mention diabetes is due to other symptoms I'm experiencing: new skin tag formations (one was on my face); sporadic tingling sensations in my hands and feet (also seen in HIV); extreme hunger throughout the day, where I get dizzy sometimes; and fatigue (seen in HIV as well).

I have a genetic predisposition for diabetes. It runs rampant in the paternal side of my family. Further, I put on lots of weight since that kiss in July '09 (comfort food eating, due to depression/fear).

Could my genotype coupled with environmental triggers of not eating well and not exercising, joined with tons of stress have lead to a phenotypic outcome of diabetes and not HIV after all?

Just curious on your thoughts.




Hello Whacked-Francophone,

Diagnosing HIV and/or diabetes is not rocket science. In fact it's so straightforward that even a Republican could figure it out. (OK, well not the mad-hatter Tea Party lunatics, but most of the others.) If your HIV test is negative outside the window period, you don't have HIV. If blood sugar levels, glucose tolerance and hemoglobin A1C are normal, you don't have diabetes. Period. End of story.

Your problem is anxiety and depression (and being whacked) plus a few mild common skin conditions. None of these symptoms are worrisome for HIV or diabetes. Stop trying to self-diagnose. It only feeds your anxiety. Besides, you've never attended medical school so you are not qualified.

I continue to urge you to seek the help of a psychiatrist. It's your head, not your immune system that's whacked! Conquering your irrational fears and getting control of your anxiety/depression is the first step in regaining both your physical and psychological well-being. See a dermatologist if your skin conditions are bothersome.

Dr. Bob

Does my cat think I have HIV?: Who is the spiciest of 'em all? Mar 11, 2010

Hi Dr. Frascino,

My spicy comment was a play on words from a spelling error from your previous post. You said Dr. Gallant "is an exceptionally insightful and knowledgeable HIV spiciest".

I was having a bit of fun ;-)

In reality, you are by far spicier though (I will leave this at that).

When you say "If you don't believe us, just get retested and we'll both tell you 'I told you so.'", are you 100% certain (with no ambiguity whatsoever), that I could not have gotten HIV from that kiss?


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Francophobe,

My new Mac is still trying to substitute words for me as I speed type. Hence "specialist" became "spiciest." I'll have to tell Dr. Gallant about that. I'm sure he'll get a charge out of it.

I am quite relieved nonetheless to still hold the reigning title for "spiciest" cyber-sexpert!

Finally, yes, I'm 100% certain and so is un-spicy Dr. Gallant. Neither of us is ambiguous (Mac just tried to make ambiguous "ambidextrous!").

Do you remember the lyrics to the old song: "You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, as time goes by." I suggest you start singing it (and believing it) frevinsakes!

Dr. Bob

Does my cat think I have HIV?: Acquiescence is upon us! Mar 9, 2010

Hi Dr. Frascino,

Sure, I know contracting HIV via french kissing is an extremely rare event. However, for something to be a rare event, it must happen rarely. If it didn't, then it would be dubbed "completely nonexistent" (your words).

I don't want to be another rare statistic (or any statistic), nor find out five years from now that I'm infected and infected my spouse. My wife wants to start a family soon. Can you see why I'm whacked?

One thing that puzzles me a bit is how both you and Dr. Gallant (the spiciest HIV specialist) completely disregarded the symptoms I've experienced right after my negative test (symptoms came on pretty close to the ARS time frame). Are you telling me and everyone reading this thread that my test is conclusive? Hell, testing this early in Whackachusetts isn't considered conclusive (although close). What makes my test and situation different?

I am very close to acquiescing to the fact I might not be infected. A good answer to this may be the last nail in the coffin of hell I'm going through.

Thanks again,

Whacked Out Francophobe (formely known as Freaked Out)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello WOF (Whacked Out Francophobe),

If you don't believe us, just get retested and we'll both tell you "I told you so." No, actually we're such nice guys and much too professional to do that. Rather we'll just calmly say WOO-HOO without a whole lot of enthusiasm. Now I've got a question for you. Why do you think Gallant is spicier than moi?

Dr. Bob

Does my cat think I have HIV?: Show and tell. Mar 8, 2010

Hi Dr. Frascino,

I summarized my three previous posts and asked Dr. Joel Gallant his thoughts ( Although his answer definitely redefines the phrase "brevity is bliss", it appears he agrees with you.

I still feel like something is wrong with me virologically, albeit I have two HIV specialists telling me I'm whacked.



Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Francophobe,

Well, it's now two against one that you are indeed whacked. So I guess that settles that, right? (By the way, I think Dr. Gallant is an exceptionally insightful and knowledgeable HIV spiciest! I would strongly suggest you believe him!)

Dr. Bob

French Kissing HIV Transmission with a twist Posted on Feb 21, 2010

Hi Dr. Gallant, In July '09, I french kissed a high HIV risk homosexual man for a couple of minutes (he conceded about being intimate with an HIV positive man before), after having too much to drink. Yes, I am another "in vino veritas" case. I brushed my teeth about 1/2 hour before kissing him. My gums tend to bleed after I brush my teeth. Also, after kissing him, I ate nachos and had a chip lodged into my gum line, where I bled a bit. I did get an antibody test (rapid) about 4 1/2 weeks after kissing him, which came out negative. I thought all was said and done with this. However, a few days after my negative test, I developed an acne-type rash all over my back, legs, shoulders, arms and chest. I also had a couple of canker sores in my mouth. I am unaware of ever having a fever during this time. Today, I have joint and muscle aches throughout my body. I still have this acne-type rash, albeit it has subsided a bit. I asked this question to Dr. Bob Frascino on He pretty much said I am completely whacked and should not even worry about this. What is your take on my risk, given my symptoms? I would like to hear this from you since you are a leading authority within HIV medicine/research. I am afraid of infecting my wife, if I am positive. We have not had sex since July '09. Much obliged,


On Feb 21, 2010 Joel E. Gallant, M.D., M.P.H. replied:

I'm with Dr. Bob!

Does my cat think I have HIV?: Take Three! Feb 8, 2010

Hi Dr. Frascino,

I did follow your advice and did not get tested again, given my essentially nonexistent risk of french kissing a promiscuous guy (He did concede being intimate with someone with HIV in the past, so chances he himself is infected is high in my estimation).

However, I have be experiencing some really troubling physical ailments. Since my previous post, I have been getting some really annoying joint pain in my wrists, fingers (sometimes pins and needles from my wrist into my pinkies), ankles, knees, elbows and forearms. Also, my deltoids constantly hurt. All of this is conjoined with capricious dull pain in my neck and arm pits, near my lymph nodes.

Are any of these symptoms indicative of having HIV at all?

I just want to mention how miserable I am and cannot shake the thought that I am infected, given these symptoms.

I have not had sex with my wife since July '09, due to fear of infecting her. For us, this is a drastic change, given we had sex at least two to three times per week for 10 years! She has been querying me as to why and when I bring up what happened, she freaks out.

I am begging you once again to kick the sense back into me, if I am totally wrong/off on my conviction of being infected. I can't find much in the medical literature over the risk of becoming infected from french kissing. It's as if there is a huge hole in the literature. Either, researchers/experts are too willing to brush-off french kissing as a risk or french kissing isn't much of a risk. To err on the side of caution, I am leaning towards the former versus the latter. Please correct me if I am wrong about this.

Please be aware, I am not concerned about myself, but my wife. I don't think I could continue to live, if was infected and infected her.

Best regards,


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello again FOF (Freaked Out Francophone),

You haven't had sex with your wife since July '09??? WHAT??? Well no wonder you're so "miserable" and she's freaking out!

Dude, reread my responses to your two previous posts. My assessment hasn't changed. Your "symptoms" are not indicative of or worrisome for HIV. Your problem is psychological, not virological! Yep, it is all in your head, not your blood!

You're a bit to whacked t the moment for me to "kick the sense back into you" over the Internet. (I would need to wear combat boots and do the kicking in person.) My strong recommendation to restore your psychological well-being, your physical well-being and your marital sex life is that you seek the help of a psychiatrist. You had a nonexistent risk and you've had a negative HIV test. You really can't get any more negative than that! Your symptoms are suggestive of anxiety, not HIV. You seem unable to accept the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence of your HIV-negative status. Psychiatric intervention is unquestionably warranted to help you cope with a variety of issues, including guilt, irrational fear and perhaps your sexual orientation.

FOF, I actually do understand how miserable you feel at the moment. I do hope you'll follow my advice!

Dr. Bob

RE: Does my cat think I have HIV? Nov 13, 2009

Hi Dr. Bob,

Thanks for assessing my risk. You've "sort of" smacked some reason back into me, albeit I do harbour some fear. I just have a few follow-up questions, where knowing these answers may alleviate/eradicate the fear I hold.

  1. I did mention I had an acne-type rash, which came on about 5 weeks after the incident. I failed to mention that I had a couple of reoccurring oral sores and my have had lymphadenopathy in my neck (although I'm no doctor, so I really don't know what a swollen lymph node feels like). I had no fever. Do you think I went through ARS?

  2. I did have a rapid stick test 4 weeks and 5 days after the incident, which came back negative. I do know tests given before the 3 month mark are not definitive. However, did I need to test in the first place, given that my only risk was kissing a person of unknown status? Do I need further testing?

  3. Given my risk, do you think it's safe for me to have unprotected sex with my wife?


Freaked Out Francophobe

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi FOF ("freaked out francophone"),

  1. Nope! Not a chance!

  2. Nope! and nope!

  3. Yep.

Dr. Bob

Does my cat think I have HIV? Nov 2, 2009

Hi Dr. Bob.

Happy belated Halloween. BOO! Did I scare ya? Doh! I guess I shouldn't quit my day job!

In all seriousness, I'm not sure if my experience falls under the umbrella of extenuating circumstances. I need your help before I go completely insane (I might just be half-way there).

About four months ago, while extremely intoxicated, I had french kissed a highly promiscuous gay man half an hour after brushing my teeth (my gums frequently bleed while I brush). The kiss lasted for only a minute. Following the kiss, I had eaten a plate a nachos. A nacho had gotten wedged under the my gumline, which may have caused a cut.

Two to three weeks after this game of tonsil hockey, I became overwhelmed with intense fear. I scavenged the internet looking to see if I had put myself at risk and was only met with contradictory answers, which added fuel to my anxiety. Some mornings I would wake up hours before my alarm clock, enveloped with trepidation and completely sweaty.

What I find odd on some of these mornings was my cat would be perched on my chest, staring at me. Normally, my cat doesn't really give a damn about me. She's more attached to my wife, than to me. Does my cat sense that I may have caught HIV? People do say that pets can sense the well-being of their caregivers, so finding my cat on my chest staring at me during the average seroconversion timeframe scares the living bejeezus out of me.

During this timeframe, I had also experience extreme fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Not sure if my OCD was in hyperdrive or whether I may have sealed my fate with a kiss.

Five weeks after the incident, I developed what appeared to be acne all over my back, trapezius, deltoids, and some on my stomach, albeit not all had white/blackheads. Some where just little red dots. Could this be ARS related symptoms?

My wife and I want to start a family soon and I am extremely afraid that I may have screwed up our lives.

I have leveled with my wife and told her all about this incident. She's thinks I'm completely bananas, but that still doesn't arrest my fear.

A donation is forthcoming.


Freaked out Francophobe

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Freaked Out Francophobe,

Your OCD is OOC (out of control). Does your cat sense you have acquired HIV??? No. If Miss Kitty is picking up anything at all, it's just that dad is totally bonkers and she is wondering if you've been hitting the catnip a bit too hard.

Your HIV-acquisition risk is essentially nonexistent. If my reassurance is not sufficient to reason the bejesus back into you, get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. The result will undoubtedly be negative, but if that is what it takes to keep you out of a padded cell and straightjacket, it will be worth the time and effort.

Thank you for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation ( In return, I'm sending you my good-luck karma that you are and will stay HIV negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob