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Body pain; eosinophils
Mar 1, 2001

I had a low-risk exposure over a year ago. I've had a myriad of symptoms since including psoriasis on the scalp, a giardia infection (six months post), strange rashes, low-grade fevers for three weeks (nine months post). Recently I have had body "pain." The area below both of my breasts (bone, rib cage) is "sore". I have felt it, and it doesn't hurt to the touch. I've had days where any part of my body could ache, from my neck on down to my ankles. Sometimes my muscles ache, especially my thighs and triceps. I also noticed two weeks ago that after bumping my thigh into the side of a desk, I had yellow "blue" to start out with. Coincidently, I had gone to my physician for a check-up around the same time these "pains" started. She ran a CBC, Cho, and did an ANA (since it runs in my family and the history of psoriasis). The tests came back "excellent", although I noticed that my white and red blood cells are in the low-normal range (but so are both of my parents who are healthy). The one abnormal number was a slightly elevated EOS (eosinophil) count. I was tested 3, 4, and 7 months post-exposure and all tests were negative. I am so tired of worrying about this. I didn't request an HIV test this time because all the experts state that I should have tested positive by 6 months. What do you think I should do?

Response from Dr. Dezube

I'm glad to hear your HIV negative. It's obviously impossible for me to know what you have over the internet. Although high eosinophil counts can occasionally give a clue to underlying disease, more often they do not lead to a diagnosis. It is important that you be followed closely by your physician. High eosinophil counts can be seen if there's an underlying allergy (e.g. asthma, or an allergy to a drug), rheumatologic disease (e.g something that causes a high ANA), parasites, cancer, and a bunch of other conditions. I imagine that your high eosinophil count may be related to your psoriasis or to your family history of ANA. I'm sorry that I don't have an easy answer, but it seems that your doctor is ordering the correct tests. I would recommend a chest x-ray if you have not already had one.

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